Movie and TV Reviews

Sundance Film Festival Spotlight

Bad Behaviour (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)
Fancy Dance (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)
Infinity Pool (Photo courtesy of Neon and Topic Studios)
Little Richard: I Am Everything (Photo courtesy of CNN Films)
Mami Wata (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)
A Thousand and One (Photo courtesy of Focus Features)

Reviews for New Releases: January 6 – February 24, 2023

80 for Brady (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)
88 (Photo by Paul De Lumen/Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Everything Under Control (Photo courtesy of Trinity Filmed Entertainment)
Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh (Photo courtesy of PVR Pictures)
God’s Time (Photo courtesy of IFC Films)
A Guilty Conscience (Photo courtesy of Edko Films Ltd.)
Hong Kong Family (Photo courtesy of Edko Films Ltd.)
House Party (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)
Infinity Pool (Photo courtesy of Neon and Topic Studios)
Jethica (Photo by Pete Ohs/Cinedigm)
Knock at the Cabin (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)
Kuttey (Photo courtesy of Yash Raj Films)
A Lot of Nothing (Photo by John Keng/RLJE Films)
M3GAN (Photo by Geoffrey Short/Universal Pictures)
Missing (Photo by Temma Hankin/Screen Gems)
Petit Mal (Photo by Sara Larrota/Dark Star Pictures)
Plane (Photo by Kenneth Rexach/Lionsgate)

Complete List of Reviews

1BR — horror

2/1 — drama

2 Graves in the Desert — drama

2 Hearts — drama

2 Minutes of Fame — comedy

5 Years Apart — comedy

7 Days (2022) — comedy

8 Billion Angels — documentary

8-Bit Christmas — comedy

The 8th Night — horror

9 Bullets (formerly titled Gypsy Moon) — drama

9to5: The Story of a Movement — documentary

12 Hour Shift — horror

12 Mighty Orphans — drama

17 Blocks — documentary

21mu Tiffin — drama

37 Seconds — drama

76 Days — documentary

80 for Brady — comedy

88 (2023) — drama

The 355 — action

The 420 Movie (2020) — comedy

499 — docudrama

2040 — documentary

7500 — drama

Abandoned (2022) — horror

Abe — drama

About Endlessness — comedy/drama

Above Suspicion (2021) — drama

A Chiara — drama

An Action Hero — action/comedy

The Addams Family 2 — animation

Adverse — drama

Advocate — documentary

The Affair (2021) (formerly titled The Glass Room) — drama

After Class (formerly titled Safe Spaces) — comedy/drama

After Parkland — documentary

Aftershock (2022) — documentary

Aftersun (2022) — drama

After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News — documentary

After Yang — sci-fi/drama

Ailey — documentary

AKA Jane Roe — documentary

Algorithm: Bliss — sci-fi/horror

Alice (2022) — drama

Alice, Darling — drama

Alienoid — sci-fi/action

Aline (2021) — drama

All Day and a Night — drama

All I Can Say — documentary

All In: The Fight for Democracy — documentary

All Light, Everywhere — documentary

All My Friends Hate Me — comedy/drama

All My Life (2020) — drama

All My Puny Sorrows — drama

All Roads to Pearla (formerly titled Sleeping in Plastic) — drama

All That Breathes — documentary

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed — documentary

All the Bright Places — drama

Almost Love (2020) (also titled Sell By) — comedy/drama

Almost Love (2022) — drama

Alone (2020) (starring Jules Willcox) — horror

Alone (2020) (starring Tyler Posey) — horror

Alone Together (2022) — comedy/drama

Alpha Rift — action

The Alpinist — documentary

Amalgama — comedy/drama

Amazing Grace (2018) — documentary

Ambulance (2022) — action

American Fighter — drama

American Gadfly — documentary

American Murderer — drama

An American Pickle — comedy

American Street Kid — documentary

American Underdog — drama

American Woman (2020) — drama

Ammonite — drama

Amsterdam (2022) — drama

Amulet — horror

Anaïs in Love — comedy/drama

The Ancestral — horror

And Then We Danced — drama

Annette — musical

Another Round — drama

Antebellum — horror

Anthony — drama

Anth the End — drama

Antlers (2021) — horror

Apocalypse ’45 — documentary

The Apollo — documentary

The Arbors — sci-fi/horror

The Argument — comedy

Armageddon Time — drama

Army of the Dead (2021) — horror

Artemis Fowl — fantasy

The Artist’s Wife — drama

Ascension (2021) — documentary

Ask for Jane — drama

Ask No Questions — documentary

As of Yet — comedy/drama

The Assistant (2020) — drama

Athena (2022) — action

At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal — documentary

Athlete A — documentary

Attack of the Murder Hornets — documentary

Avatar: The Way of Water — sci-fi/action

Aye Zindagi (2022) — drama

Azor — drama

Baby God — documentary

Babylon (2022) — drama

Babysplitters — comedy

Babyteeth — drama

Bacurau — drama

Bad Behaviour (2023) — comedy/drama

Bad Boys for Life — action

Bad Detectives (formerly titled Year of the Detectives) — drama

Bad Education (2020) — drama

The Bad Guys (2022) — animation

Badhaai Do — comedy/drama

Bad Therapy (formerly titled Judy Small) — comedy/drama

Ballad of a White Cow — drama

Banana Split — comedy

Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art — documentary

A Banquet — horror

The Banshees of Inisherin — comedy/drama

Barbarian (2022) — horror

Barbarians (2022) — horror

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar — comedy

The Batman — sci-fi/action

The Battle at Lake Changjin — action

The Battle at Lake Changjin II — action

Beanpole — drama

Beast (2022) — horror

Beast Beast — drama

Beastie Boys Story — documentary

The Beatles: Get Back — documentary

The Beatles: Get Back—The Rooftop Concert — documentary

Beba — documentary

Becoming — documentary

Behind You — horror

Being the Ricardos — drama

Belfast (2021) — drama

Belle (2021) — animation

Beneath Us — horror

Benedetta (also titled Blessed Virgin) — drama

Benediction (2021) — drama

Bergman Island (2021) — drama

Best Sellers (2021) — comedy/drama

The Beta Test — comedy/drama

Better Nate Than Ever — comedy/drama

Bhediya — horror/comedy

Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 — horror/comedy

Big Time Adolescence — comedy/drama

The Big Ugly — drama

Billie (2020) — documentary

Bill & Ted Face the Music — sci-fi/comedy

The Binge — comedy

Bingo Hell — horror

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) — fantasy/action

Bitterbrush — documentary

Black Adam — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Black as Night — horror

Black Bear — drama

Blackbird (2020) — drama

Black Box (2020) — horror

Black Box (2021) — drama

Black Is King — musical

Blacklight — action

Black Magic for White Boys — comedy

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — sci-fi/fantasy/action

The Black Phone — horror

Black Widow (2021) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Blast Beat — drama

The Blazing World (2021) — horror

Blessed Child — documentary

Blithe Spirit (2020) — comedy

Blonde (2022) — drama

Blood and Money — drama

Blood Conscious — horror

Blood on Her Name — drama

Bloodshot (2020) — sci-fi/action

Bloodthirsty (2021) — horror

Bloody Hell — horror

Blow the Man Down — drama

Blue Bayou (2021) — drama

Blue Story — drama

Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island — horror

The Bob’s Burgers Movie — animation

Bodies Bodies Bodies — horror

Body Cam — horror

The Body Fights Back — documentary

Bố Già (Dad, I’m Sorry) — comedy/drama

Bones and All — drama

Boogie — drama

The Booksellers — documentary

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm — comedy

The Boss Baby: Family Business — animation

Both Sides of the Blade (formerly titled Fire) — drama

Box of Rain — documentary

Boyfriend for Hire — drama

The Boys (first episode) — fantasy/action

Brahmāstra Part One: Shiva — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Brahms: The Boy II — horror

Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power — documentary

Breaking (2022) (formerly titled 892) — drama

Breaking Fast — comedy

Breaking News in Yuba County — comedy

Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists — documentary

Brian and Charles — comedy/drama

The Broken Hearts Gallery — comedy

Broker (2022) — drama

Bros (2022) — comedy

Brothers by Blood (formerly titled The Sound of Philadelphia) — drama

Browse — drama

Bruiser (2022) — drama

Brut Force — drama

Buckley’s Chance — drama

Buffaloed — comedy

Bullet Train (2022) — action

Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn — documentary

Burden (2020) — drama

Burning Cane — drama

The Burning Sea — action

Burn It All — drama

The Burnt Orange Heresy — drama

Cactus Jack — horror

Cagefighter — drama

Calendar Girl (2022) — documentary

Call Jane — drama

The Call of the Wild (2020) — live-action/animation

A Call to Spy — drama

Call Your Mother — documentary

Candyman (2021) — horror

Cane River — drama

Capone — drama

The Card Counter — drama

Carmilla — drama

Carol & Johnny — documentary

Casa Susanna — documentary

Castle in the Ground — drama

Catch the Bullet — action

Catch the Fair One — drama

Cat Daddies — documentary

Catherine Called Birdy — comedy/drama

The Cellar (2022) — horror

Censor (2021) — horror

Centigrade — drama

Cha Cha Real Smooth — comedy/drama

Chance the Rapper’s Magnificent Coloring World — documentary

Changing the Game (2021) — documentary

Chasing the Present — documentary

Chasing Wonders — drama

Chehre — drama

Cherry (2022) — comedy/drama

Chick Fight — comedy

Children of the Mist — documentary

Children of the Sea — animation

Chinese Doctors — drama

A Christmas Story Christmas — comedy

Chop Chop — horror

Circus of Books — documentary

Cirkus (2022) — comedy

City of Lies — drama

Clara Sola — drama

Clean (2022) — drama

The Cleaner (2021) — drama

The Clearing (2020) — horror

Clementine — drama

Clerks III — comedy

Clifford the Big Red Dog (2021) — live-action/animation

Cliff Walkers (formerly titled Impasse) — drama

The Climb (2020) — comedy/drama

Close (2022) — drama

Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind: Contact Has Begun — documentary

Cloudy Mountain (2021) — action

Clover — drama

C’mon C’mon — drama

Coachella: 20 Years in the Desert — documentary

CODA — comedy/drama

Coded Bias (formerly titled Code for Bias) — documentary

Code Name: Tiranga — action

Coffee & Kareem — comedy

Collective — documentary

Color Out of Space — sci-fi/horror

The Columnist — horror

Come as You Are (2020) — comedy

Come Play — horror

Come to Daddy — horror

Come True — sci-fi/drama

Coming 2 America — comedy

Compartment No. 6 — drama

Confess, Fletch — comedy

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It — horror

Connect (2022) — horror

Console Wars — documentary

The Contractor (2022) (formerly titled Violence of Action) — action

Copshop (2021) — action

The Cordillera of Dreams — documentary

Count Basie: Through His Own Eyes — documentary

A Couple (2022) — drama

The Courier (2021) (formerly titled Ironbark) — drama

Cow (2022) — documentary

The Craft: Legacy — horror

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words — documentary

Creem: America’s Only Rock’n’Roll Magazine — documentary

Crimes of the Future — horror

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution — documentary

Crisis (2021) — drama

Critical Thinking — drama

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan — documentary

The Croods: A New Age — animation

Crown Vic — drama

CRSHD — comedy

Cruella — comedy/drama

Cry Macho — drama

Cryptozoo — animation

The Cursed (2022) (formerly titled Eight for Silver) — horror

The Curse of Audrey Earnshaw — horror

The Curse of La Patasola — horror

Cut Throat City — drama

Cyrano (2021) — musical

Da 5 Bloods — drama

Daddy Issues (2020) — comedy

Dads — documentary

Dangerous Lies — drama

The Daphne Project — comedy

Dara of Jasenovac — drama

Darby and the Dead (formerly titled Darby Harper Wants You to Know) — fantasy/comedy

The Dark Divide — drama

Dark Web: Cicada 3301 — action/comedy

Dating & New York — comedy

Dave Not Coming Back — documentary

Dawn Raid — documentary

A Day in the Life of America — documentary

Days of Rage: The Rolling Stones’ Road to Altamont — documentary

Days of the Whale — drama

DC League of Super-Pets — animation

A Deadly Legend — horror

Deadstream — horror

Dear Evan Hansen — musical

Dear Santa — documentary

Death in Texas — drama

Death of a Telemarketer — comedy

Death on the Nile (2022) — drama

Decade of Fire — documentary

Decibel (2022) — action

Decision to Leave — drama

The Deeper You Dig — horror

Deep Water (2022) — drama

The Deer King — animation

Deerskin — comedy

The Delicacy — documentary

Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil — documentary

Demonic (2021) — horror

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie: Mugen Train — animation

Denise Ho—Becoming the Song — documentary

Descendant (2022) — documentary

Desolation Center — documentary

Desperados — comedy

The Desperate Hour (formerly titled Lakewood) — drama

The Devil Below (formerly titled Shookum Hills) — horror

Devil’s Night: Dawn of the Nain Rouge — horror

Devil’s Pie—D’Angelo — documentary

The Devil You Know (2022) — drama

Devotion (2022) — drama

Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy — documentary

Die in a Gunfight — action

Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over — documentary

Disappearance at Clifton Hill — drama

The Disappearance of Mrs. Wu — comedy/drama

The Disappearance of Toby Blackwood — comedy

Disclosure (2020) — documentary

The Divine Protector: Master Salt Begins — fantasy

Diving With Dolphins — documentary

The Djinn — horror

Dobaaraa — sci-fi/drama

Doctor G — comedy/drama

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Dog (2022) — comedy/drama

The Dog Doc — documentary

Dolittle — live-action/animation

Dolphin Island — drama

Dolphin Reef — documentary

Do Not Reply — horror

Don’t Breathe 2 — horror

Don’t Look Back (2020) (formerly titled Good Samaritan) — horror

Don’t Look Up (2021) — comedy

Don’t Worry Darling — sci-fi/drama

The Doorman (2020) — action

Dosed — documentary

Double XL — comedy/drama

Downhill — comedy

Downton Abbey: A New Era — drama

Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero — animation

Dream Horse — drama

Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel — documentary

Dreamland (2020) (starring Margot Robbie) — drama

Drishyam 2 (2022) — drama

Drive My Car (2021) — drama

Driven to Abstraction — documentary

Driveways — drama

Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America — documentary

The Dry — drama

The Duke (2021) — comedy/drama

Dune (2021) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Duran Duran: A Hollywood High — documentary

Duty Free — documentary

Earwig — horror

The East (2021) — drama

Easter Sunday (2022) — comedy

Easy Does It — comedy

Eggs Over Easy — documentary

Eiffel — drama

El Cuartito — comedy/drama

Elephant (2020) — documentary

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things — documentary

Ellis — documentary

Elvis (2022) — drama

Emancipation (2022) — drama

Embattled — drama

Emergency (2022) — comedy

Emergency Declaration — action

Emily the Criminal — drama

Emma (2020) — comedy/drama

The Emoji Story (formerly titled Picture Character) — documentary

Empire of Light — drama

Encanto — animation

Endangered Species (2021) — drama

End of Sentence — drama

Enemies of the State (2021) — documentary

Enforcement (formerly titled Shorta) — drama

Enhanced (2021) (also titled Mutant Outcasts) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Enola Holmes — drama

Entwined (2020) — horror

Enys Men — horror

EO — drama

Epicentro — documentary

Escape From Mogadishu — drama

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions — horror

Escape the Field — horror

The Eternal Daughter — drama

Eternals (2021) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

The Etruscan Smile (also titled Rory’s Way) — drama

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga — comedy

Everything Everywhere All at Once — sci-fi/action

Everything Under Control — action/comedy

Evil Eye (2020) — horror

The Evil Next Door — horror

The Exiles (2022) — documentary

Exit Plan — drama

Extraction (2020) — action

The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) — drama

F3: Fun and Frustration — comedy

F9: The Fast Saga — action

The Fabelmans — drama

Facing Monsters — documentary

Fall (2022) — drama

A Fall From Grace — drama

Falling (2021) — drama

Falling for Figaro — comedy/drama

The Fallout — drama

Family Camp — comedy

Family Squares — comedy/drama

Fancy Dance (2023) — drama

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — fantasy

Farewell Amor — drama

Fatal Affair (2020) — drama

Fatale — drama

The Father (2020) — drama

Father Stu — drama

Fatima (2020) — drama

Fatman — comedy

Fear of Rain — horror

The Feast (2021) — horror

The Fight (2020) — documentary

Finch — sci-fi/drama

Finding Kendrick Johnson — documentary

Finding You (2021) — drama

Firebird (2021) — drama

Fire Island (2022) — comedy

Fire of Love (2022) — documentary

Firestarter (2022) — horror

First Cow — drama

First Date (2021) — comedy

Flag Day — drama

Flashback (2021) (formerly titled The Education of Frederick Fitzell) — drama

Flee — documentary/animation

Flipped (2020) — comedy

Flux Gourmet — comedy/drama

Force of Nature (2020) — action

The Forever Purge — horror

The Forgiven (2022) — drama

For They Know Not What They Do — documentary

Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko — animation

The Forty-Year-Old Version — comedy

Four Good Days — drama

Four Kids and It — fantasy

Four Samosas — comedy

Fourth of July — comedy/drama

Framing John DeLorean — documentary

Frank and Penelope — drama

Freaky — horror

Free Guy — sci-fi/action

The French Dispatch — comedy

French Exit — comedy/drama

Fresh (2022) — horror

Friendsgiving — comedy

From the Hood to the Holler — documentary

From the Vine — comedy/drama

Funhouse (2021) — horror

Funny Pages — comedy/drama

Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down — documentary

Gaia (2021) — horror

Game of Death (2020) — horror

Ganden: A Joyful Land — documentary

Gandhada Gudi: Journey of a True Hero — documentary

Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh — drama

Gap Year (2020) — documentary

The Garden Left Behind — drama

The Gasoline Thieves — drama

The Gateway (2021) — drama

Gay Chorus Deep South — documentary

The Gentlemen — action

Get Duked! (formerly titled Boyz in the Wood) — comedy

Get Gone — horror

Ghostbusters: Afterlife — comedy/horror

The Ghost of Peter Sellers — documentary

Ghosts of the Ozarks — horror

Gigi & Nate — drama

A Girl From Mogadishu — drama

A Girl Missing — drama

Give Me Five (2022) — sci-fi/comedy/drama

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery — comedy/drama

A Glitch in the Matrix — documentary

The God Committee — drama

God Save the Queens (2022) — comedy/drama

God’s Creatures — drama

God’s Time — comedy

Godzilla vs. Kong — sci-fi/fantasy/action

The Go-Go’s — documentary

Gold (2022) — drama

Golden Arm — comedy

Goldie — drama

Gone in the Night (2022) (formerly titled The Cow) — drama

Good Girl Jane — drama

The Good House — comedy/drama

Good Luck to You, Leo Grande — comedy/drama

The Good Neighbor (2022) — drama

Good Night Oppy — drama

The Good Nurse — drama

Good Posture — comedy

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind — documentary

Grasshoppers — drama

Greed — comedy/drama

The Green Knight — horror/fantasy

Greenland — sci-fi/action

Gretel & Hansel — horror

Greyhound — drama

The Grudge (2020) — horror

Guest of Honour — drama

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio — animation

The Guilty (2021) — drama

A Guilty Conscience (2023) — drama

Gunda — documentary

Half Brothers — comedy

The Half of It — comedy

Halloween Ends — horror

Halloween Kills — horror

Halloween Party (2020) — horror

Happening (2021) — drama

Happiest Season — comedy

The Harder They Fall (2021) — action

Hard Luck Love Song — drama

Hatching — horror

The Hater (2022) — comedy/drama

Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics — documentary

Hawa (2022) — horror

Haymaker (2021) — drama

Healing From Hate: Battle for the Soul of a Nation — documentary

He Dreams of Giants — documentary

Held — horror

Hell Hath No Fury (2021) — action

Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful — documentary

Here After (2021) (formerly titled Faraway Eyes) — drama

Here Are the Young Men — drama

Here Today — comedy/drama

A Hero — drama

Hero Dog: The Journey Home — drama

Hero Mode — comedy

Herself — drama

The High Note — comedy/drama

His House — horror

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard — action

HIT: The First Case (2022) — action

HIT: The 2nd Case — action

Hive — drama

Hocus Pocus 2 — fantasy/comedy

Hold Your Fire — documentary

A Holiday Chance — comedy/drama

Holler — drama

Holly Slept Over — comedy

Home Coming (2022) — action

Honest Thief — action

Hong Kong Family — drama

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. — comedy

Hooking Up (2020) — comedy

Hope Gap — drama

Horse Girl — sci-fi/drama

The Host (2020) — horror

Hosts — horror

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania — animation

Hot Seat (2022) — drama

The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2 — comedy/horror

House of Gucci — drama

House of Hummingbird — drama

House Party (2023) — comedy

How It Ends (2021) — comedy

How to Build a Girl — comedy

How to Fix a Primary — documentary

How to Please a Woman — comedy/drama

Huda’s Salon — drama

Human Capital (2020) — drama

Human Nature (2020) — documentary

The Humans (2021) — drama

A Hundred Billion Key — action

The Hunt — horror

Hunter Hunter — horror

Hypochondriac (2022) — horror

Hysterical (2021) — documentary

I Am Human — documentary

I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story — drama

I Am Vengeance: Retaliation — action

I Carry You With Me — drama

If I Can’t Have You: The Jodi Arias Story — documentary

I Hate New York — documentary

I Hate the Man in My Basement — drama

I Love My Dad — comedy

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me — documentary

Impractical Jokers: The Movie — comedy

I’m Thinking of Ending Things — drama

I’m Totally Fine — sci-fi/comedy

I’m Your Man (2021) — sci-fi/comedy/drama

I’m Your Woman — drama

Incitement — drama

India Sweets and Spices — comedy/drama

Infamous (2020) — drama

The Infiltrators — docudrama

Infinite Storm — drama

Infinity Pool (2023) — horror

The Informer (2020) — drama

InHospitable — documentary

Initials SG — drama

Inna De Yard: The Soul of Jamaica — documentary

The Innocents (2021) — horror

In Our Mothers’ Gardens — documentary

The Inspection — drama

Instaband — documentary

The Integrity of Joseph Chambers — drama

In the Earth — horror

In the Footsteps of Elephant — documentary

In the Heights — musical

Intrusion (2021) — drama

Inu-Oh — animation

The Invaders (2022) — documentary

The Invisible Man (2020) — horror

The Invitation (2022) — horror

Iron Mask (formerly titled The Mystery of the Dragon Seal) — fantasy/action

Irresistible (2020) — comedy

I Still Believe — drama

Is That Black Enough for You?!? — documentary

Italian Studies — drama

It Takes a Lunatic — documentary

It Takes Three (2021) — comedy

I Used to Go Here — comedy/drama

I’ve Got Issues — comedy

I Want My MTV — documentary

I Will Make You Mine — drama

Jackass Forever — comedy

Jakob’s Wife — horror

Jane (2022) — drama

The Janes — documentary

Janhit Mein Jaari — comedy/drama

January (2022) — drama

Jaya Jaya Jaya Jaya Hey — comedy/drama

Jayeshbhai Jordaar — comedy

Jay Myself — documentary

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story — documentary

Jethica — comedy/drama

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey — musical

Jiu Jitsu — sci-fi/action

Jockey (2021) — drama

Joe Bell (formerly titled Good Joe Bell) — drama

John and the Hole — drama

John Henry — action

John Lewis: Good Trouble — documentary

JonBenét Ramsey: What Really Happened? — documentary

A Journal for Jordan — drama

Judas and the Black Messiah (formerly titled Jesus Was My Homeboy) — drama

Judy & Punch — drama

Jugjugg Jeeyo — comedy/drama

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 — animation

Jungle Cruise — fantasy/action

Jungleland (2020) — drama

Jurassic World Dominion — sci-fi/action

Kajillionaire — comedy/drama

Kalaga Thalaivan — action

Karen (2021) — drama

Kat and the Band — comedy

Kaye Ballard: The Show Goes On! — documentary

Kehvatlal Parivar — comedy/drama

Kicking Blood — horror

Kid Candidate — documentary

Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections — documentary

Killer Among Us — horror

Killer Therapy — horror

Killian & the Comeback Kids — drama

The Killing of Two Lovers — drama

The Kill Team (2019) — drama

Kill the Monsters — drama

The Kindness of Strangers — drama

Kindred (2020) — drama

The King of Staten Island — comedy/drama

King Otto — documentary

King Richard — drama

The King’s Daughter (formerly titled The Moon and the Sun) — fantasy/drama

The King’s Man — action

Knock at the Cabin — horror

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time — documentary

Kuttey — action

Laal Singh Chaddha — drama

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022) — drama

La Guerra Civil — documentary

Lair — horror

La Llorona — horror

Lamb (2021) — horror

Land (2021) — drama

Lansky (2021) — drama

The Last Duel (2021) — drama

The Last Full Measure — drama

The Last Glaciers — documentary

Last Night in Soho — horror

The Last Vermeer — drama

Laththi (also titled Laththi Charge) — action

The Lawyer — drama

Leftover Women — documentary

The Legend of Maula Jatt — action

Les Misérables (2019) — drama

Let Him Go — drama

Licorice Pizza — comedy/drama

The Lie (2020) — drama

Life in a Day 2020 — documentary

Lighting Up the Stars — comedy/drama

Lightyear — animation

Like a Boss — comedy

Limbo (2021) — comedy/drama

Limerence — comedy

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice — documentary

Lingua Franca — drama

Little Fish (2021) — sci-fi/drama

Little Richard: I Am Everything — documentary

The Little Things (2021) — drama

Living (2022) — drama

The Lodge — horror

The Longest Wave — documentary

Long Live Rock…Celebrate the Chaos — documentary

Long Weekend (2021) — sci-fi/drama

Lorelei (2021) — drama

Lost Bayou — drama

The Lost City (2022) — comedy

The Lost Daughter (2021) — drama

Lost Girls — drama

Lost Transmissions — drama

The Lost Weekend: A Love Story — documentary

Los Últimos Frikis — documentary

A Lot of Nothing — comedy/drama

Love and Monsters — sci-fi/horror/action

The Lovebirds — comedy

Love Is Love Is Love — drama

Lovely Jackson — documentary

Love Sarah — comedy/drama

A Love Song — drama

Love Suddenly (2022) — comedy/drama

Love Type D — comedy

Love Wedding Repeat — comedy

Low Tide — drama

Luca (2021) — animation

Lucky Grandma — action

Lucy and Desi — documentary

Lux Æterna — comedy/drama

Luz: The Flower of Evil — horror

LX 2048 — sci-fi/drama

Lydia Lunch: The War Is Never Over — documentary

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile — comedy

M3GAN — horror/comedy

Ma Belle, My Beauty — drama

Mack & Rita — comedy

Madres (2021) — horror

Mai Khoi & the Dissidents — documentary

The Main Event (2020) — action

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound— documentary

Malignant (2021) — horror

Mallory (2021) — documentary

Mama Weed — comedy/drama

Mami Wata (2023) — drama

A Man Called Otto — comedy/drama

Mandibles — comedy

Mank — drama

The Manor (2021) — horror

The Man Who Sold His Skin — drama

The Many Saints of Newark — drama

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom — drama

Marathon (2021) — comedy

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On — live-action/animation

Mark, Mary & Some Other People — comedy

The Marksman (2021) — action

Marry Me (2022) — comedy

Mars One — drama

Martha: A Picture Story — documentary

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words — documentary

Masquerade (2021) — horror

Mass (2021) — drama

Master (2022) — horror

The Matrix Resurrections — sci-fi/action

Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back — documentary

The Mauritanian — drama

Mayday (2021) — action

Measure of Revenge — drama

Meat Me Halfway — documentary

Medusa (2022) — drama

Memoria (2021) — sci-fi/drama

Memory (2022) — action

Men (2022) — horror

The Menu (2022) — horror

Mid-Century (2022) — horror

Midnight in the Switchgrass — drama

Mighty Ira — documentary

Mighty Oak — drama

Mili (2022) — drama

Military Wives — comedy/drama

The Mimic (2021) — comedy

Minari — drama

The Mindfulness Movement — documentary

Minions: The Rise of Gru — animation

Misbehaviour — drama

Miss Americana — documentary

Missing (2023) — drama

Miss Juneteenth — drama

The Mitchells vs. the Machines — animation

MLK/FBI — documentary

Moffie — drama

The Mole Agent — documentary

Monday (2021) — drama

Monster Family 2 — animation

Monster Hunter — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Monstrous (2022) — horror

Montana Story — drama

Moonage Daydream — documentary

Moonfall (2022) — sci-fi/action

Moon Man (2022) — sci-fi/comedy/drama

Morbius — horror/action

Mortal — sci-fi/action

Mortal Kombat (2021) — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Most Dangerous Game — sci-fi/action

Most Wanted (formerly titled Target Number One) — drama

Mother, I Am Suffocating. This Is My Last Film About You. — docudrama

Mothering Sunday — drama

A Mouthful of Air — drama

Move Me (2022) — documentary

Mr. Malcolm’s List — comedy/drama

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris — comedy/drama

Mr. Soul! — documentary

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado — documentary

Mulan (2020) — fantasy/action

Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story — documentary

Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story — documentary

Music Pictures: New Orleans — documentary

My Boyfriend’s Meds — comedy

My Country, My Parents (also titled My Country, My Family) — drama

My Dad’s Christmas Date — comedy/drama

My Darling Vivian — documentary

My Love (2021) — comedy/drama

My Octopus Teacher — documentary

My Old School — documentary

My Salinger Year (also titled My New York Year) — drama

My Spy — comedy

Mystify: Michael Hutchence — documentary

Naked Singularity — drama

The Nan Movie — comedy

Nanny — horror

Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind — documentary

National Champions — drama

Navalny — documentary

Needle in a Timestack — sci-fi/drama

The Nest (2020) — drama

Never Forget Tibet — documentary

Never Gonna Snow Again — drama

Never Rarely Sometimes Always — drama

Never Stop (2021) — drama

Never Too Late (2020) — comedy

New Gods: Yang Jian — animation

New Order (2021) — drama

News of the World — drama

A Nice Girl Like You — comedy

The Night (2021) — horror

The Night House — horror

Nightmare Alley (2021) — drama

Night of the Kings — drama

The Night Owl (2022) — drama

Nightride (2022) — drama

Nina Wu — drama

Nine Days — drama

Nitram — drama

Noah Land — drama

Nobody (2021) — sci-fi/action

Nocturne (2020) — horror

No Exit (2022) — drama

Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin — documentary

Nomadland — drama

No Man’s Land (2021) — drama

Nope —sci-fi/horror

The Northman —fantasy/action

No Small Matter — documentary

No Time to Die (2021) — action

Notturno — documentary

The Novice (2021) — drama

The Nowhere Inn — comedy/drama

Objects — documentary

Official Competition — comedy/drama

Old — horror

The Old Guard — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Old Henry (2021) — drama

Olympia — documentary

Olympic Dreams — comedy/drama

On Broadway (2021) — documentary

Once Upon a River — drama

Once Upon a Time in Uganda — documentary

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band — documentary

One Hour Outcall — drama

One Night in Bangkok — drama

One Night in Miami… — drama

One Piece Film Red — animation

One Week Friends (2022) — drama

Only — sci-fi/drama

The Only One (2021) — drama

On the Come Up — drama

On the Record — documentary

On the Rocks (2020) — drama

On the Trail: Inside the 2020 Primaries — documentary

Onward — animation

Open — drama

Ordinary Love — drama

Origin of the Species (2021) — documentary

Orphan: First Kill — horror

Otherhood — comedy

The Other Lamb — drama

Other Music — documentary

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles — documentary

Our Friend (formerly titled The Friend) — drama

Our Ladies — comedy/drama

Our Time Machine — documentary

The Outfit (2022) — drama

Out of Blue — drama

The Outpost — drama

Out Stealing Horses — drama

Paap Punyo —drama

The Painter and the Thief — documentary

The Pale Blue Eye — drama

Palm Springs —sci-fi/comedy

Paper Spiders — drama

The Paper Tigers — action

Paradise Highway — drama

Parallel (2020) — sci-fi/drama

Parallel Mothers — drama

Paranormal Prison — horror

Paris, 13th District — drama

Parkland Rising — documentary

Passing (2021) — drama

A Patient Man — drama

PAW Patrol: The Movie — animation

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank — animation

Pearl (2022) — horror

A Perfect Enemy — drama

The Personal History of David Copperfield — comedy/drama

Personality Crisis: One Night Only — documentary

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway — live-action/animation

Petite Maman — drama

Petit Mal (2023) — drama

The Phantom of the Open — comedy/drama

Phobias (2021) — horror

Phone Bhoot — comedy

The Photograph — drama

Pig (2021) — drama

Piggy (2022) — horror

Pinocchio (2022) — live-action/animation

The Place of No Words — drama

Plane — action

The Planters — comedy

Playing God (2021) — comedy

Pleasure (2021) — drama

Plucked — documentary

Plus One (2019) — comedy

The Pollinators — documentary

Pornstar Pandemic: The Guys — documentary

Port Authority (2019) — drama

Possessor Uncut — sci-fi/horror

The Power of the Dog — drama

Premature (2020) — drama

Prem Geet 3 — action

Prey (2022) — sci-fi/horror

The Prey (2020) — action

Prey for the Devil (also titled The Devil’s Light) — horror

The Price of Desire — drama

The Princess (2022) — documentary

Prisoners of the Ghostland — sci-fi/action

Profile (2021) — drama

Project Power — sci-fi/action

Promising Young Woman — comedy/drama

The Protégé (2021) — action

Proxima — sci-fi/drama

P.S. Burn This Letter Please — documentary

Public Enemy Number One — documentary

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish — animation

PVT CHAT — drama

Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad — action

Queenpins — comedy

The Quiet One (2019) — documentary

A Quiet Place Part II — sci-fi/horror

Quo Vadis, Aida? — drama

The Racer — drama

Radioactive — drama

Raging Fire — action

Railway Children (formerly titled The Railway Children Return) — drama

A Rainy Day in New York — comedy

Raising Buchanan — comedy

Ram Setu — action

Rare Beasts — comedy

Ravening (formerly titled Aamis) — drama

Raya and the Last Dragon — animation

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks — documentary

Rebuilding Paradise — documentary

Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project — documentary

Redeeming Love — drama

Red Penguins — documentary

Red Rocket — comedy/drama

Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs — animation

A Regular Woman — drama

Relic — horror

Remember (2022) — action

Reminiscence (2021) — sci-fi/drama

The Rental (2020) — horror

Rent-A-Pal — horror

The Rescue (2021) — documentary

The Rescue List — documentary

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City — horror

Resistance (2020) — drama

Respect (2021) — drama

Resurrection (2022) — horror

Retaliation (formerly titled Romans) — drama

The Retreat (2021) — horror

Return to Seoul — drama

Rewind — documentary

The Rhythm Section — action

The Ride (2020) — drama

Ride Like a Girl — drama

Riders of Justice — drama

Ride the Eagle — comedy/drama

The Right One — comedy

Riotsville, USA — documentary

Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It — documentary

River City Drumbeat — documentary

RK/RKAY — comedy

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain — documentary

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical — musical

Roald Dahl’s The Witches — horror/fantasy

Robert the Bruce — drama

Ron’s Gone Wrong — animation

The Rookies (2019) — action

Room 203 — horror

Rounding — drama

The Roundup (2022) — action

Rubikon (2022) — sci-fi/drama

Run (2020) — drama

Runner — documentary

Running the Bases — drama

Run With the Hunted — drama

Rushed — drama

Ruth: Justice Ginsburg in Her Own Words — documentary

Safer at Home — drama

Saint Frances — comedy/drama

Saint Maud — horror

Saint Omer — drama

Saloum — horror

Sam & Kate — comedy/drama

Samrat Prithviraj (formerly titled Prithviraj) — action

Santa Camp — documentary

Save Yourselves! — sci-fi/horror/comedy

Saving Paradise — drama

Say Hey, Willie Mays! — documentary

The Scheme (2020) — documentary

Scheme Birds — documentary

School’s Out Forever — horror

Scoob! — animation

Scream (2022) — horror

Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street — documentary

Screened Out — documentary

Seahorse: The Dad Who Gave Birth (formerly titled Seahorse) — documentary

Seberg — drama

The Secret: Dare to Dream — drama

A Secret Love — documentary

The Secrets We Keep — drama

See for Me — horror

See How They Run (2022) — comedy/drama

See Know Evil — documentary

See You Yesterday — sci-fi/drama

Selah and the Spades — drama

Sell/Buy/Date — documentary

Separation (2021) — horror

Sergio (2020) — drama

Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days — documentary

Settlers (2021) — sci-fi/drama

The Seventh Day (2021) — horror

Shabaash Mithu — drama

Shadows of Freedom — documentary

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — fantasy/action

Shattered (2022) — drama

She Dies Tomorrow — drama

She Said — drama

She’s in Portland — drama

She Will — horror

Shine Your Eyes — drama

Shirley — drama

Shithouse — comedy/drama

Shortcut — horror

The Short History of the Long Road — drama

A Shot Through the Wall — drama

Showbiz Kids — documentary

The Show’s the Thing: The Legendary Promoters of Rock — documentary

Siberia (2021) — drama

Sidney — documentary

Significant Other (2022) — sci-fi/horror

Silent Night (2021) (starring Keira Knightley) — comedy/drama

The Silent Party — drama

The Silent Twins — drama

Silk Road (2021) — drama

A Simple Wedding — comedy

Sing 2 — animation

The Sinners (2021) (also titled The Virgin Sinners; formerly titled The Color Rose) — horror

Sissy — horror

Six Minutes to Midnight — drama

Skate Dreams — documentary

Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story — documentary

Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons — documentary

Skin Walker — horror

Skyman — sci-fi/drama

Slay the Dragon — documentary

Small Engine Repair (2021) — comedy/drama

Smile (2022) — horror

Smiley Face Killers — horror

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Sniper: The White Raven — action

Sno Babies — drama

Soft & Quiet — drama

Somebody Up There Likes Me (2020) — documentary

Some Kind of Heaven — documentary

Some Like It Rare — horror/comedy

Sometimes Always Never — comedy/drama

The Son (2022) — drama

The Sonata — horror

Songbird — sci-fi/drama

Sonic the Hedgehog — live-action/animation

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 — live-action/animation

Son of Monarchs — drama

Sorry We Missed You — drama

Soul — animation

Soulmates (2021) — comedy

The Sound of Identity — documentary

Sound of Metal — drama

The Sound of Violet (formerly titled Hooked) — drama

The Souvenir Part II — drama

Space Jam: A New Legacy — live-action/amination

Spaceship Earth — documentary

The Sparks Brothers — documentary

Spell (2020) — horror

Spelling the Dream (formerly titled Breaking the Bee) — documentary

Spencer — drama

Spider-Man: No Way Home — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Spiral (2021) — horror

Spirited (2022) — musical/comedy

Spirit Untamed — animation

Spoiler Alert (2022) — drama

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run — live-action/animation

Spontaneous — sci-fi/horror/comedy

Sputnik — sci-fi/horror

Standing Up, Falling Down — comedy/drama

Stardust (2020) — drama

Stars at Noon — drama

Starting at Zero — documentary

The State of Texas vs. Melissa — documentary

Stealing School — comedy/drama

Stevenson Lost & Found — documentary

Still Here (2020) — drama

Stillwater (2021) — drama

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry — drama

The Story of Soaps — documentary

The Stranger (Quibi original) — drama

Strange World (2022) — animation

Stray (2021) — documentary

Stray Dolls — drama

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street — documentary

Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash — drama

Studio 666 (2022) — horror/comedy

The Stylist — horror

Subho Bijoya — drama

Subjects of Desire — documentary

Sublime — documentary

Sugar Daddy (2021) — drama

The Suicide Squad — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Summering — drama

Summerland — drama

Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) — documentary

Sundown (2022) — drama

The Sunlit Night — comedy/drama

Supernova (2021) — drama

The Surrogate — drama

Survive — drama

Swallow — drama

Swan Song (2021) (starring Mahershala Ali) — sci-fi/drama

Swan Song (2021) (starring Udo Kier) — comedy/drama

Sweetheart Deal — documentary

Sweet Thing (2020) — drama

The Swerve — drama

The Swing of Things — comedy

Sylvie’s Love — drama

Synchronic — sci-fi/horror

Table for Six (2022) — comedy/drama

Take Back — action

Take Me to the River: New Orleans — documentary

Tango Shalom — comedy/drama

Tankhouse — comedy

Tape (2020) — drama

Tar — horror

TÁR — drama

A Taste of Hunger — drama

A Taste of Sky — documentary

Ted Bundy: American Boogeyman — horror

The Tender Bar — drama

Ten Minutes to Midnight — horror

Terrorizers — drama

Tesla — drama

Thank God (2022) — comedy/drama/fantasy

Then Came You (2020) — comedy

They Call Me Dr. Miami — documentary

The Thing About Harry — comedy

Think Like a Dog — comedy/drama

Thirteen Lives — drama

This Is Personal — documentary

This Is Stand-Up — documentary

This Is the Year — comedy

Thor: Love and Thunder — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Those Who Wish Me Dead — drama

A Thousand and One — drama

A Thousand Cuts (2020) — documentary

A Thread of Deceit: The Hart Family Tragedy — documentary

Three Headed Beast — drama

Three Minutes—A Lengthening — documentary

Three Thousand Years of Longing — fantasy

Through the Night (2020) — documentary

Ticket to Paradise (2022) — comedy

Tick, Tick…Boom! — musical

Tijuana Jackson: Purpose Over Prison — comedy

Till — drama

Time (2020) — documentary

Time Is Up (2021) — drama

The Times of Bill Cunningham — documentary

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made — comedy

The Tinder Swindler — documentary

Titane — horror

The Tobacconist — drama

Together (2021) — comedy/drama

Together Together — comedy/drama

To Kid or Not to Kid — documentary

To Kill the Beast — drama

Tom and Jerry — live-action/animation

Tommaso — drama

Tom of Your Life — sci-fi/comedy

Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free: The Making of Wildflowers — documentary

Too Late (2021) — horror/comedy

Top Gun: Maverick — action

The Torch (2022) — documentary

Totally Under Control — documentary

To the Moon (2022) — drama

Trafficked: A Parent’s Worst Nightmare — drama

The Tragedy of Macbeth — drama

Traveling Light (2022) — drama

The Trial of the Chicago 7 — drama

Triangle of Sadness — comedy/drama

The Trip to Greece — comedy

Trixie Mattel: Moving Parts — documentary

Trolls World Tour — animation

Troop Zero — comedy

The True Adventures of Wolfboy — drama

The Truffle Hunters — documentary

Trust (2021) — drama

The Truth — drama

The Turning (2020) — horror

Turning Red — animation

‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas — documentary

Twas the Night (2021) — comedy

The Twentieth Century — comedy

Two of Us (2020) — drama

Tyson (2019) — documentary

Tyson’s Run — drama

Ultrasound — sci-fi/drama

Umma (2022) — horror

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent — action/comedy

Unbelievable (premiere episode) — drama

Uncaged (also titled Prey) – horror

Uncharted (2022) — action

Uncorked — drama

Under the Volcano (2021) — documentary

Underwater — sci-fi/horror

Undine (2020) — drama

Unfavorable Odds — comedy

Unhinged (2020) — action

The Unholy (2021) — horror

The United States vs. Billie Holiday — drama

Un Rescate de Huevitos — animation

The Unthinkable — drama

Until We Meet Again (2022) — drama

Up From the Streets: New Orleans: The City of Music — documentary

Uprooting Addiction — documentary

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Into Her Own — documentary

Utama — drama

Uunchai — drama

Vadh — drama

Val — documentary

Valley Girl (2020) — musical

The Vanished (2020) (formerly titled Hour of Lead)— drama

Vanquish (2021) — action

The Vast of Night — sci-fi/drama

Veetla Vishesham — comedy/drama

Vengeance (2022) — comedy/drama

Vengeance Is Mine (2021) — action

Venom: Let There Be Carnage — sci-fi/fantasy/action

The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee — comedy

The Vigil (2021) — horror

Vijayanand — drama

Vikram (2022) — action

The Village in the Woods — horror

Violent Night — action/comedy

Violet (2021) — drama

Viral: Antisemitism in Four Mutations — documentary

The Virtuoso (2021) — drama

Vivarium — sci-fi/drama

Voyagers — sci-fi/drama

Waiting for Bojangles — comedy/drama

Waiting for the Barbarians — drama

Wander Darkly — drama

The War With Grandpa — comedy

Watcher (2022) — horror

Watson — documentary

The Way Back (2020) — drama

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme — documentary

We Are Little Zombies — comedy/drama

We Are Many — documentary

We Are the Radical Monarchs — documentary

Weathering With You — animation

We Broke Up — comedy

Weird: The Al Yankovic Story — comedy

Welcome to Chechnya — documentary

We Need to Do Something — horror

Werewolves Within — horror/comedy

Wes Schlagenhauf Is Dying — comedy

West Side Story (2021) — musical

The Whale (2022) — drama

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali — documentary

What We Found — drama

What Will Become of Us (2019) — documentary

The Wheel (2022) — drama

When I Consume You — horror

When the Streetlights Go On — drama

Where the Crawdads Sing — drama

The Whistlers — drama

White Noise (2022) — comedy/drama

A White, White Day — drama

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody — drama

Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America — documentary

Widow of Silence — drama

Wig — documentary

Wildcat (2022) — documentary

Wild Indian — drama

Wild Men (2021) — comedy/drama

Wild Mountain Thyme — drama

Willy’s Wonderland — horror

The Windermere Children — drama

Wine Crush (Vas-y Coupe!) (formerly titled Vas-y Coupe!) — documentary

The Witch 2: The Other One — sci-fi/horror/action

Witch Hunt (2021) — horror

Wojnarowicz — documentary

Wolf (2021) — drama

The Wolf and the Lion — drama

The Wolf House — animation

The Wolf of Snow Hollow — horror

The Woman King — action

Woman on the Roof — drama

A Woman’s Work: The NFL’s Cheerleader Problem — documentary

Women (2021) — horror

Women Talking — drama

The Wonder (2022) — drama

Wonder Woman 1984 — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation — documentary

Words on Bathroom Walls — drama

Work It — comedy/drama

The World to Come — drama

The Worst Person in the World — comedy/drama

Worst to First: The True Story of Z100 New York — documentary

Wrath of Man — action

The Wretched — horror

A Writer’s Odyssey — fantasy/action

The Wrong Missy — comedy

Wyrm — comedy

Wyrmwood: Apocalypse — horror

X (2022) — horror

XY Chelsea — documentary

Yaara Vey — drama

Yakuza Princess — action

¿Y Cómo Es Él? — comedy

The Year Between — comedy/drama

Yellow Rose — drama

You Are Not My Mother — horror

You Cannot Kill David Arquette — documentary

You Don’t Nomi — documentary

You Go to My Head — drama

You Should Have Left — horror

You Won’t Be Alone — horror

Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn — documentary

Zack Snyder’s Justice League — sci-fi/fantasy/action

Zappa — documentary

Zeros and Ones — drama

Zola — comedy/drama

Zombi Child — horror

Review: ‘Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh,’ starring Deepak Antani and Chinmay Mandlekar

February 2, 2023

by Carla Hay

Chinmay Mandlekar and Deepak Antani in “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” (Photo courtesy of PVR Pictures)

“Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh”

Directed by Rajkumar Santoshi

Hindi with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in 1948, primarily in New Delhi, India, the dramatic film “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” features an all-Indian cast of characters representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: In a story that revises history, political revolutionary Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (also known as Mahatma Gandhi), a preacher of non-violence, survives an assassination attempt by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Vinayak Godse, and the two men have ongoing political debates about how much power Hindus should have in India. 

Culture Audience: “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” will appeal primarily to people who don’t mind watching a ridiculous story that insults the legacy of a beloved historical figure.

Deepak Antani in “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” (Photo courtesy of PVR Pictures)

“Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” is a fictional drama in every sense of the word, because the movie completely rewrites history about Indian political revolutionary Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (also known as Mahatma Gandhi) to turn it into something that looks like an ill-conceived fairy tale. Although the movie’s intentions might have been good, it’s a bizarre and revisionist fantasy that insults Gandhi and makes his assassin look like a misunderstood fanatic who could easily manipulate Gandhi. Perhaps the best thing that can be said about this movie is that at least the actor playing Gandhi resembles him.

Written and directed by Rajkumar Santoshi, “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” (which means “Gandhi Godse – A War” in Hindi) takes place in 1948, mainly in the Indian capital city of New Delhi. In real life, Gandhi (who preached tolerance of other cultures and non-violence) was assassinated by a gun shooting on January 30, 1948, at the age of 78. Gandhi’s murderer was Nathuram Vinayak Godse, a Hindu nationalist who believed that only Hindus should have power in India. Godse, who was found guilty in a trial, was executed by hanging on November 15, 1949.

In “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh,” Gandhi (played by Deepak Antani) is shot by Godse (played by Chinmay Mandlekar) in public in January 1948, but Godse survives the assassination. Godse, who has a particular hatred of Pakistanis, then launches a public smear campaign against Gandhi, in order to make Gandhi look like a traitor to India. The two men meet up under various circumstances to have political debates in public and in private. That’s the flimsy concept of this very misguided film.

It’s a fundamentally flawed concept, because Godse faces no real punishment for trying to kill Gandhi. The movie makes it look like Godse was let out of jail in a matter of a few months. “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” never shows Godse on trial or entering a “guilty” or “not guilty” plea to attempted murder charges in a courtroom. This careless disregard in ignoring any realistic legal consequences for this assassination attempt is enough to ruin the movie.

It gets worse. “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” also has an unnecessary subplot about a young couple meeting Gandhi when he was in a hospital recovering from his gunshot wounds. The couple’s names are Sushma (played by Tanisha Santoshi) and her boyfriend Naren (played by Anuj Saini), who teaches English at a local college. Sushma and Naren plan to get married, and they want Gandhi’s blessing.

The storyline with Sushma and Naren is nothing but filler to stretch out the movie and have a few sappy singing scenes. The romance between Sushma and Naren is as boring as can be and really adds nothing to the movie. It’s all contrived so that there’s a conflict when Godse finds out that Gandhi does not approve of Sushma and Naren getting married. Godse’s thoughts on this romance is used as a reason for Godse to have more resentment toward Gandhi. Yes, this part of the movie is as bad as it sounds.

All of the acting performances in “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” range from mediocre to terrible, just like the dialogue and scenarios in the movie. Real-life political figures Jawaharlal Nehru (played by Pawan Chopra) and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (played by Ghanshyam Srivastav) are portrayed as hollow and generic. “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” wants to promote the idea that Gandhi and Godse could have had a “frenemy” relationship. In the movie, it all looks like a tacky soap opera.

“Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” is filled with ridiculous and unrealistic scenarios that truly insult the intelligence of viewers. Even people who might not know anything about Gandhi can see how moronic everything is in this train wreck of a movie. The “debates” between Gandhi and Godse are very repetitive and lack anything than can be considered clever. And to top it all off, the ending of “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” is absolutely heinous and just confirms that this garbage movie is completely irredeemable.

PVR Pictures released “Gandhi Godse – Ek Yudh” in select U.S. cinemas and in India on Janaury 26, 2023.

Review: ‘Knock at the Cabin,’ starring Dave Bautista, Jonathan Groff, Ben Aldridge, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Kristen Cui, Abby Quinn and Rupert Grint

February 1, 2023

by Carla Hay

Ben Aldridge, Kristen Cui and Jonathan Groff in “Knock at the Cabin” (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

“Knock at the Cabin”

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in an unnamed city in Pennsylvania, the horror film “Knock at the Cabin” features a racially diverse cast of characters (white, Asian and African American) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: Two husbands and their 7-year-old adopted daughter are held hostage in a remote cabin by four strangers, who tell them that one of the family members must choose to kill another family member, or else there will be an apocalypse that will kill everyone on Earth except the three family members. 

Culture Audience: “Knock at the Cabin” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and horror movies with apocalyptic themes.

Abby Quinn, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Dave Bautista and Rupert Grint in “Knock at the Cabin” (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

The apocalyptic horror film “Knock at the Cabin” has a more predictable story than the novel on which it is based, but the movie still delivers many tension-filled scenes and memorable characters. The cast members, particularly Ben Aldridge and Kristen Cui, elevate the film with their credible performances. “Knock at the Cabin” is one of those movies where you can figure out from watching the trailers how everything is probably going to end. It’s one of the few movies from filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan that does not have a shocking twist.

Shyamalan directed “Knock at the Cabin” and co-wrote the movie’s screenplay with Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman. The movie’s screenplay is adapted from Paul Tremblay’s 2018 novel “The Cabin at the End of the World,” which has a very different turn of events than the movie version of this book. It’s easy to see why the filmmakers chose to make these changes, because there are many things in the book that would not be as “crowd-pleasing” to movie audiences.

Even though “Knock at the Cabin” plays it very safe in how the movie was adapted from the book, there’s still enough in the movie that brings a level of gripping suspense, thanks to skilled editing and capable acting performances. Except for flashbacks and scenes showing events on TV news, “Knock at the Cabin” takes place primarily in a remote area in an unnamed city in Pennsylvania. The filmmakers of “Knock at the Cabin” wisely chose not to clutter up the movie with extraneous characters and locations that are not in “The Cabin at the End of the World.”

“Knock at the Cabin” begins with showing a kind and intelligent 7-year-old girl named Wen (played by Cui) collecting grasshoppers in an open field and putting them in a bottle. Wen is an aspiring veterinarian—she says she wants to be “take care of animals” when she grows up. She is cataloguing the statistics of the grasshoppers that she has collected, and she has even named the grasshoppers. Wen (who is an only child) and her two gay fathers Andrew (played by Aldridge) and Eric (played by Jonathan Groff) are on a vacation trip in this isolated wooded area of Pennsylvania, where the family is staying at a cabin.

Suddenly, a hulking man named Leonard (played by Dave Bautista) emerges from the woods. He approaches Wen and makes small talk with her. At first Wen is wary of this stranger, but she starts to warm up to him when he shows an interest in her grasshopper collection by helping her get a grasshopper and asking her about the collection. Wen says she will turn 8 years old in six days. Leonard tells Wen that he wants to be her friend and he needs to go inside the home where her parents are.

Leonard is not alone. He has three companions with him, who all have the same intentions. Redmond (played by Rupert Grint) has an angry personality. Sabrina (played by Nikki Amuka-Bird) has a calm personality. Adriane (played by Abby Quinn) has a cheerful personality. Leonard is their leader, and he has a “take charge” personality. All four of these strangers are armed and dangerous.

As already shown in the movie’s trailers, all four of these strangers break into the cabin and take Andrew, Eric and Wen hostage. Andrew and Eric put up a fight in self-defense. Eric gets into a losing brawl with Sabrina, and he gets a concussion from being knocked to the ground. Andrew and Eric are then tied to chairs, although (as the movie trailer already reveals) Wen is not tied up, and she briefly escapes.

Leonard tells this captured family that they have to make a choice: someone in the family has to voluntarily kill someone else in the family, or else there will be an apocalypse where everyone on Earth except this family of three will be killed. Every time someone in the family refuses to kill someone else in the family, a plague will descend on Earth until the world-ending apocalypse will happen.

Andrew (the more outspoken and more assertive husband) is immediately skeptical and thinks that these four strangers are mentally ill. Andrew mentions later in the movie that he’s a human rights attorney, which goes a long way in explaining why Andrew thinks he can argue his way out of this horrible situation. At first, Andrew and Eric also think that this home invasion is a hate crime because Andrew and Eric are a gay couple. But Leonard denies it and says that he and his three cohorts did not know in advance that the targeted family would have a same-sex couple.

Andrew and Eric refuse to kill anyone in their family. As already shown in the movie’s trailer, as a result, a plague happens that kills numerous people near the Pacific Ocean. (Shyamalan continues his tradition of appearing in small roles as an actor in the movies that he directs. In “Knock at the Cabin,” he briefly appears on the cabin’s TV set as a host on a home-shopping show that is interrupted by breaking news.) Leonard shows the family the TV news to prove that this plague happening.

Andrew is convinced that the four strangers knew in advance that this catastrophe was going to happen. Leonard insists that he, Sabrina, Leonard and Adriane were all strangers with the same visions who found each other through the Internet. Leonard also says that several families over time have had to make the same decision. And he emphatically states that he, Sabrina, Leonard and Adriane are “heartbroken” that they have to force Andrew and Eric to make this life-changing decision.

In order to make themselves relatable, Leonard and the rest of the home invaders tells the captured family more about themselves. Leonard says he’s from Chicago and has two jobs: He’s an elementary schoolteacher who runs an after-school program for second graders, and he’s a bartender.

Sabrina is a hospital nurse who works at an intensive-care unit in Southern California. She says she feel guilty about Eric getting injured in their fight, so she tends to Eric’s head wounds. Sabrina also says that the rules are that Eric must be thinking clearly when making his decision with Andrew. But who exactly is making these “rules”?

Adriane says she’s a line cook at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C. “I love to feed people,” she adds. Later in the movie, Adriane says she has a pre-teen son named Charlie, and she begs the hostage family to not let the apocalypse happen, or else her son is going to die.

Redmond is an ex-con who works at a gas company in Medford, Massachusetts. He mentions coming from an abusive family where “my father used to beat the shit out of me.” Later, Andrew is convinced that he knows Redmond from a traumatic event that happened in Andrew’s past.

As the tension builds over what decision will be made, “Knock at the Cabin” shows flashbacks of Andrew and Eric’s life together before this home invasion. Viewers will find out that Andrew’s parents (played by McKenna Kerrigan and Ian Merrill Peakes) disapprove of him being gay, while Eric’s mother (who is never seen in the movie) is accepting of Eric’s sexuality. Andrew and Eric also went to China to adopt Wen when she was a baby, but Andrew had to pretend to be the brother of Eric’s non-existent wife, in order to avoid any homophobic restrictions that would prevent them from adopting Wen.

There are also flashbacks to happy family times with Andrew, Eric and Wen, such as when they’re driving in their car while K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s 1975 hit song “Boogie Shoes” is playing. Andrew, Eric and Wen love this song so much, they sing loudly and joyfully move to the beat of the song. “Boogie Shoes” will be used again later in the movie in an emotionally powerful scene.

Because “Knock at the Cabin” is a horror movie, not everyone will make it out alive. At a certain point, it becomes very obvious which of the husbands will be more open to the idea of killing someone in the family, in order to save the world. But will that husband be able to convince his spouse?

There are no real surprises in “Knock at the Cabin,” except for how much the movie removed some of the risk-taking plot developments from “The Cabin at the End of the World.” With a total running time of 100 minutes, “Knock at the Cabin” is a taut thriller that doesn’t drag on for longer than the story needed, although some parts of the movie get a little repetitive. Knock at the Cabin” is a very Hollywood movie version of the book, but it’s ultimately satisfactory entertainment for horror fans who don’t want to see anything too disturbing on screen.

Universal Pictures will release “Knock at the Cabin” in U.S. cinemas on February 3, 2023.

Review: ‘Mami Wata’ (2023), starring Evelyne Ily, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Emeka Amakeze, Rita Edochie and Kelechi Udegbe

January 31, 2023

by Carla Hay

Evelyne Ily in “Mami Wata” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

“Mami Wata” (2023)

Directed by C.J. “Fiery” Obasi

Culture Representation: Taking place in the fictional West African village of Iyi, the dramatic film “Mami Wata” features a nearly all-black cast of characters (with one white person) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A village that believes in the water goddess Mami Wata is disrupted by a stranger who doesn’t have the same beliefs.

Culture Audience: “Mami Wata” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in artistic-looking movies about African folklore and female empowerment.

Rita Edochie in “Mami Wata” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

Dream-like and gorgeously atmospheric, the dramatic film “Mami Wata” offers a fresh and fascinating new story about Mami Wata, the water goddess of African folkore. The movie has a “slow burn” storytelling that picks up more fiery energy as it goes along when conflicts among the characters start to increase. “Mami Wata” has a lot to stay about respect—respect for nature, respect for spirituality and respect for female empowerment in a world where there are forces that want to disrespect or destroy all three. The movie’s deliberate pacing won’t be for everyone, but viewers with patience and open minds will be rewarded with an absorbing and thoroughly engaging story.

Written and directed by C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, “Mami Wata” takes place in the fictional and remote West African village of Iyi, which is located near a beach. The name of the country is not named in the movie, but it implied to be Nigeria. There are several languages in Nigeria, but in Nigeria, “iyi” means laws, rules and regulations. And in Iyi, the village lives by spiritual rules where the water goddess Mami Wata is worshipped. The village doesn’t trust outsiders and modern conveniences, such as technology or advanced medical practices. Iyi does not have a school, hospital or army because the villagers believe that Mami Wata will take care of all of their needs.

“Mami Wata” was filmed entirely in black and white, which makes the imagery in the movie even more striking. “Mami Wata” had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where the movie won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography. “Mami Wata” cinematographer Lílis Soares makes the movie look both hypnotic and grounded in stark realism. It also looks “of the moment” yet timeless.

In the beginning of the movie, Iyi is under the leadership of Mama Eche (played by Rita Edochie), an intermediary who claims to have a direct spiritual line to Mami Wata. Mama Eche, who has a very stoic and solemn personality, is believed to have healing powers for physical and spiritual issues. But lately, some people in the village are starting to think that Mama Eche’s powers are slipping. And they are starting to question if Mami Wata even exists.

Mama Eche has a daughter named Zinwe (played by Uzoamaka Aniunoh), who is in her late teens or early 20s. Zinwe is expected to be Mama Eche’s successor as the village’s intermediary when Mama Eche dies or is ready to pass on those duties to Zinwe. However, Zinwe has a mind of her own and doesn’t really want to be the village’s next intermediary.

Zinwe is also upset with some of Mama Eche’s decisions. In one of the movie’s earliest scenes, a grieving mother has come to Mama Eche for spiritual guidance because the mother’s daughter has died. Mama Eche tells the woman, “Your child didn’t die. She went back to where she came from. You know how it is.”

Zinwe thinks Mama Eche has the power to bring this child back to life and should have done so to help the grieving mother. Zinwe tells Mama Eche, “Mama, if it was me, what woud you have done?” Mama Eche says nothing in response. Zinwe angrily says, “When I become the intermediary, I will abolish all this foolishness from Iyi. No mother will ever cry over the loss of her child to Mami Wata in Iyi again.”

Mama Eche has a protégée named Prisca (played by Evelyne Ily, also known as Evelyne Ily Juhen), who’s about 10 years older than Zinwe. Prisca was orphaned as a child and raised by Mama Eche, who knew Prisca’s parents. Therefore, Zinwe and Prisca were treated like sisters when they were growing up. Zinwe is impulsive and rebellious, while Prisca is methodical and obedient.

Zinwe and Prisca are also polar opposites when it comes to spiritual beliefs and the direction in which they think the village should go. Zinwe is very reluctant to become an intermediary and is growing disillusioned in the village putting all of its faith in the power of Mami Wata. Prisca believes wholeheartedly in the power of Mami Wata and has welcomed Mama Eche’s training as an intermediary.

The village’s faith in Mama Eche’s intermediary powers is tested when an ailing boy (who is about 7 or 8 years old) is brought to Mama Eche and dies while foaming at the mouth in front of her and other villagers. The boy’s father is infuriated that Mama Eche could not save his son’s life. One of the male villagers yells at Mama Eche that the child could have been saved if they had brough the child to a hospital.

Mama Eche’s only response is that modern medicine cannot be trusted, and this village must have a faith in what Mami Wata wants. However, the discontent spreads as certain people in the village start to talk about new leadership and being open to getting modern medical treatment. A young man named Jabi (played by Kelechi Udegbe) is leading the disgruntled talk about Mami Wata not existing and that Mama Eche should be replaced as the leader of Iyi.

A visiting doctor (played by “Mami Wata” director Obasi) and a nurse (played by Joyce Tobi Lileru) arrive in Iyi because they heard about children dying in the village and suspect that a virus is spreading. The doctor offers to administer free vaccines to the villagers, but Mama Ecehe refuses the offer and denies that there is a virus spreading in the village. With nothing more that they can do, the doctor and the nurse leave.

Another stranger arrives in the village, and he will have a huge impact on what happens for the rest of the movie. His name is Jasper (played by Emeka Amakeze), who was found washed up on the beach. Prisca gets to know Jasper, and they have a mutual attraction. Jasper eventually opens up to Prisca about his past and says that he was a rebel fighter in a civil war, but he quit the rebellion and deserted his army. Jasper is worried that some of his former comrades might find him and get revenge.

“Mami Wata” starts off looking like a simple story about a daughter who is resistant to becoming her mother’s successor, and it turns into a more complex story that makes astute observations about civil wars and the power dynamics between men and women. The movie offers different perspectives of how people are affected by the pros and cons of ancient traditions versus modern ways of life.

Viewers who are accustomed to watching fast-talking people in movies will have to get used to the measured pacing of the dialogue in “Mami Wata.” All of the cast members are competent, with Ily, Aniunoh and Amakeze standing out the most because their respective characters of Prisca, Zinwe and Jasper are the most fully developed. “Mami Wata’s” greatest strength is in its absorbing story and how it is told. It leads to a stunning ending that can leave viewers breathless and emotionally moved.

Review: ‘Bad Behaviour’ (2023), starring Jennifer Connelly, Alice Englert, Ben Whishaw and Dasha Nekrasova

January 30, 2023

by Carla Hay

Jennifer Connelly in “Bad Behaviour” (Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute)

“Bad Behaviour” (2023)

Directed by Alice Englert

Culture Representation: Taking place in Oregon and in New Zealand, the comedy/drama film “Bad Behaviour” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few black people and Asians) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A depressed actress, who used to be famous when she was a teenager, goes to a therapeutic retreat, and she experiences odd situations while trying to mend her strained relationship with her adult daughter, who is working in New Zealand as movie stunt performer. 

Culture Audience: “Bad Behaviour” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of star Jennifer Connelly and pointless and dull movies where self-absorbed people are obnoxious.

Observational comedies about self-pitying, privileged neurotics can be amusing if done with some clever self-awareness. “Bad Behaviour” tries too hard to be cutesy and dark, with no wit involved. It all adds up to being an irritating, self-indulgent mess. “Bad Behaviour” had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. It’s yet another movie about someone who goes on a “getaway trip” to try to find some relief from personal problems, and the person finds out that running away from these problems isn’t the answer.

“Bad Behaviour” is the feature-film directorial debut of Alice Englert, who also wrote the movie. Englert is best known as an actress, with roles in such films as 2012’s “Ginger & Rosa” and 2019’s “Them That Follow,” as well as TV series such as 2016’s “Top of the Lake,” 2020’s “Ratched” and 2022’s “Dangerous Liaisons.” Englert also happens to be the daughter of Oscar-winning director Jane Campion. This family connection is worth noting because Campion makes a cameo in “Bad Behaviour” as an unnamed doctor, while Englert has an acting role Campion’s 2021 film “The Power of the Dog.”

In “Bad Behaviour,” Jennifer Connelly portrays Lucy, a depressed actress who is going to a therapuetic retreat in Oregon at a place called Loveland Ranch. While driving by herself to this retreat, Lucy calls her daughter Dylan (played by Englert), a stunt performer who is in her 20s and is currently in New Zealand on the set of a sci-fi action movie. A lot of the movie’s action scenes take place in a wooded area. (“Bad Behaviour” was actually filmed in New Zealand.)

The phone conversation between Lucy and Dylan is brief, because Dylan’s phone service isn’t very good in these woods. However, they are on the phone long enough for Lucy to tell Dylan that Lucy is going on a “semi-silent retreat in the wildnerness, so don’t expect to hear from me.” Dylan is very indifferent and doesn’t seem very interested in talking on the phone with her mother. Before their phone connection get cut off, Dyland tells Lucy that Dylan is at work. “I have to teach a guy to strangle me,” Dylan says in a distracted tone.

When Lucy arrives at Loveland Ranch (which is in a semi-isolated wooded location), she’s told by the receptionist Petunia (played by Ana Scotney) that there is no WiFi service outside of the reception area. The retreat participants are also discouraged from using their cell phones, because cell phones are considered to distracting for this retreat. Petunia also says that the people on this retreat are being filmed for a documentary. It’s the first sign that this so-called “private” retreat has a lot of contradictory things about it. It’s partially because this retreat is like a very bad, unfunny joke, and partially because the writing for this movie is so sloppy.

Lucy is surprised to hear that the therapy sessions will be filmed. And so, Lucy tells Petunia that she doesn’t want to be filmed when she’s revealing personal information during these sessions. Petunia accepts this request from Lucy and says that Lucy can just tell the camera operator Mark (played by Thomas Sainsbury) when Lucy does not feel comfortable being filmed, and Mark will stop filming Lucy. All of this doesn’t matter in the end, because viewers will see later in the movie that Lucy eventually forgets that the cameras are there.

Everything about Loveland Ranch reeks of being pretentious, pricey, and aimed at gullible people who are desperate for emotional comfort. The retreat is led by a famous guru named Elon Bello (played by Ben Whishaw), a Brit whose therapy credentials are never mentioned, probably because he doesn’t have any legitimate therapy credentials. There are about 10 participants in the therapy sessions that take place in “Bad Behaviour,” with each therapy session becoming more and more annoying to watch.

This is the type of nonsense that Elon spouts when greeting the therapy participants: “I invite you to begin this time with yourselves, without the stories that drove you here … I invite us to be quiet, to give yourself permission to be a little mysterious … I encourage you not to smile at each other, no winking, so signing. You can use the [writing] board, or come to me or Petunia if you’re feeling panic, of course.”

The problem with Elon’s instructions is that he constantly contradicts them, thereby giving the therapy sessions a rambling and unfocused tone—much like how Englert directs this movie. For a so-called “semi-silent” retreat, people sure do a lot of talking about themselves and their sob stories, and they make a lot of noise. In one therapy session, the participants are paired up for role playing, with one person in the pair acting as a sad baby, while the other person is acting as a comforting mother.

At first, Lucy is emotionally closed-off and doesn’t want to reveal too much of herself. Eventually, she is told that she has to fully open up about herself to the rest of the group, which is a direct contradiction to Elon saying earlier, “I give you permission to be a little bit mysterious.”

It’s how viewers find out that Lucy is a “has-been” actress whose fame peaked when she was a teenager. Her main claim to fame was starring as a “warrior princess” in a TV series called “Florida Fierce.” She also has a long history of depression, stemming from her unhappy childhood being raised by alcoholic parents, who also had a history of depression.

In a “confession session,” the participants are told to confess the biggest thing that makes them feel ashamed about themselves. Lucy says she’s ashamed that “I’m just a greedy, needy, lazy paranoid human being, living off the money I made from the character that gave me an eating disorder.” Elon irresponsibly makes no effort to find out from Lucy how this eating disorder is affecting her now.

During a break from the sessions, Lucy sneaks outside in the back of the building to use her phone to text an unidentified person. This person advises Lucy that she needs to “purge” her emotional baggage at this retreat. The text conversation also includes some other information about Lucy’s life that can only be seen if viewers are able to pause the screen and read these text messages.

This information includes the fact that Lucy’s mother was suicidal. When Lucy was 17, she used to date a friend of her father. This “friend” gave herpes to Lucy. Later in Lucy’s life, Lucy’s ex-husband Ralph, who is Dylan’s father, left Lucy and Dylan. These are all important details of Lucy’s background that can explain why Lucy feels depressed and damaged, but “Bad Behaviour” only touches on the suicidal tendencies of Lucy’s mother. It’s a missed opportunity to explore other aspects of Lucy’s life that led her to this point.

Instead, “Bad Behaviour” goes on an off-putting tangent where Lucy and another retreat participant get into an unspoken competition about who’s going to get the most sympathy in these therapy sessions. Lucy’s rival to be the Loveland Ranch queen of neuroses is a fashion model in her 20s named Beverly (played by Dasha Nekrasova), who soon tells everyone at the retreat that she has suicidal thoughts. “I like to write suicide notes, and I fantasize about my funeral,” says Beverly. “I’d rather be dead. That’s my shame.”

In response, Elon says: “You are at an airport right now. You know your flight will crash. Do not get on it.” He adds with a smirk: “Although sometimes, crashing has its benefits.” This comment is meant to be part of the the dark comedy of “Bad Behaviour,” but it’s all just so lackluster, despite having the very talented Whishaw in this role of a flaky guru.

At first, Lucy tries to be friendly to Beverly, but Lucy loses interest when Beverly acts haughty and superior to Lucy. For example, during a break from the therapy, Beverly asks Lucy to take photos of Beverly on Beverly’s cell phone, so that Beverly can post the photos on Beverly’s social media. The two women then low-key bicker about the proper lighting and how Beverly poses for these pictures.

Lucy and Beverly then take their hostility to each other into the therapy sessions. They trade thinly veiled insults related to their respective ages. When Beverly confesses that she’s worried about losing her “currency” of youth and beauty when she gets older, Lucy snarkily says that it’s inevitable. Meanwhile, Beverly makes snide remarks to make Lucy feel like a washed-up old hag.

It’s unfortunate that with all the ways that this movie’s plot could have gone, it devolves into a tiresome and lazy cliché of two women who are jealous of each other and get catty about it. Something happens later in the movie between Beverly and Lucy that takes this already jumbled and unappealing movie to the point of no return in ridiculousness. “Bad Behaviour” is trying desperately to be an artsy dark comedy, but too many aspects of this dreadful film look like ripoff ideas from a semi-scripted and tacky reality show.

In addition, “Bad Behaviour” awkwardly meshes the concurrent storylines of Lucy and Dylan. Most of “Bad Behaviour” goes back and forth between showing Lucy at the Loveland Ranch in Oregon, and Dylan on the movie set in New Zealand. Dylan’s activities are even more tedious and less insightful into her personality than what is shown about Lucy. Occasionally, Lucy and Dylan are seen talking to each other on the phone while they are so far away from each other.

There are too many scenes of Dylan running, fighting, and jumping around the movie set in visual effects costumes, with no real point to these scenes. She’s training another stunt performer named Dion (played by Beulah Koale) during the filming of this movie. There’s some sexual attraction between Dion and Dylan. And you can easily predict the rest.

“Bad Behaviour” brings up too many questions that it never bothers to answer. Sure, viewers know that Dylan has a lot of resentment toward Lucy, but the movie offers very little explanation for what their mother/daughter relationship was like before the events in the movie take place. The cast members’ performances aren’t bad, but they’re not that special either. The best acting in the movie comes from Connelly, who delivers some convincing-looking emotions in the scenes where she has to show those emotions.

However, the dialogue and tone of “Bad Behaviour” are just a confused mishmash, since Englert can’t quite capably juggle the movie’s intended combination of comedy and drama. The character of Elon is very shallow, as are all the people at the retreat. The movie spends so much of its focus on the “Lucy verses Beverly” storyline, it’s to the detriment of character development. Karan Gill has a very clumsily written role as a young attorney named Leonard “Leo” Gow, who becomes part of the story in the last third of the movie.

“Bad Behaviour” isn’t the worst movie you could ever see. The cinematography, especally in the outdoor scenes, can be quite eye-catching. However, considering the talent in this movie’s cast, “Bad Behaviour” should have been a lot better than the monotonous and aimless slog that it is. There’s an attempt to “shake things up” with a sudden turn of events, but everything about it looks phony and out-of-touch. “Bad Behaviour” is like a misguided therapy session that tries to look it might have some purpose, but it ends up doing more things wrong than right, and it becomes a waste of everyone’s time.

True Crime Entertainment: What’s New This Week

The following content is generally available worldwide, except where otherwise noted. All TV shows listed are for networks and streaming services based in the United States. All movies listed are those released in U.S. cinemas. This schedule is for content and events premiering this week and does not include content that has already been made available.

January 30 – February 5, 2023

TV/Streaming Services

All times listed are Eastern Time/Pacific Time, unless otherwise noted.

Hulu’s three-episode docuseries “Killing County” premieres on Friday, February 3, at 12 a.m. ET. 

Monday, January 30

“Prisoner of the Prophet” (Three-episode docuseries)
Monday, January 30, 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT, Discovery+

“Death by Fame”
“Man of Anarchy” (Episode 202)
Monday, January 30, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Fatal Attraction: Last Words”
“Steven Coleman” (Episode 117)
Monday, January 30, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“The Playboy Murders”
“All That Glitters” (Episode 202)
Monday, January 30, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Payback”
“Kelly Forbes” (Episode 115)
Monday, January 30, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Tuesday, January 31

“Calls From the Inside”
“Exposing the Cover Up” (Episode 203)
Tuesday, January 31, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Body Cam: On the Scene”
“State of Emergency” (Episode 302)
Tuesday, January 31, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“American Greed”
“State of Emergency” (Episode 302)
Tuesday, January 31, 10 p.m., CNBC

Wednesday, February 1

“Taiwan Crime Stories” (12-Episode Drama Series)
Wednesday, February 1, 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT, Hulu

“Dateline”
“The View”
Wednesday, February 1, 9 p.m., Oxygen

“Trafficked With Mariana van Zeller”
“GHost Guns” (Episode 303)
Wednesday, February 1, 9 p.m., National Geographic

“See No Evil”
“Murder by VHS” (Episode 1006)
Wednesday, February 1, 9 p.m., Investigaton Discovery

“American Detective With Lt. Joe Kenda”
“The Creek” (Episode 402)
Wednesday, February 1, 10 p.m., Investigaton Discovery

Thursday, February 2

“Flordelis: A Family Crime” (Four-episode docuseries)
Thursday, February 2, 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT, HBO Max

“The First 48: After the First 48”
“Out of the Darkness”
Thursday, February 2, 8 p.m., A&E

“Blood Relations”
“Killer Ego” (Episode 105)
Thursday, February 2, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Accused: Guilty or Innocent?”
“Masked Attacker or Mistaken Identity?” (Episode 404)
Thursday, February 2, 9 p.m., A&E

“Taking the Stand”
“Curtis Reeves” (Episode 204)
Thursday, February 2, 10 p.m., A&E

“Death in the Deep South”
(Episode 101)
Thursday, February 2, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Friday, February 3

“Killing County” (Three-episode docuseries)
Friday, February 3, 12 a.m. ET, Hulu

“Cops”
TBA
Friday, February 3, 6 p.m., Fox Nation

“On Patrol: Live”
TBA
Friday, February 3, 9 p.m., Reelz

“20/20”
TBA (Episode 4515)
Friday, February 3, 9 p.m., ABC

Saturday, February 4

“On Patrol: First Shift”
TBA
Saturday, February 4, 8 p.m., Reelz

“On Patrol: Live”
TBA
Saturday, February 4, 9 p.m., Reelz

“Florida Man Murders”
“Devastated in Deltona” (Episode 205)
Saturday, February 4, 9 p.m., Oxygen

“Killer Attraction”
“Frenemies” (Episode 105)
Saturday, February 4, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“To Catch a Smuggler: South Pacific”
“Imaginary” (Episode 1009)
Saturday, February 4, 9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

“To Catch a Smuggler: South Pacific”
“Fly High” (Episode 1010)
Saturday, February 4, 9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

“48 Hours”
TBA
Saturday, February 4, 10 p.m., CBS

Sunday, February 5

“American Pain” (Documentary Film)
Sunday, February 5, 9 p.m., CNN

“Evil Lives Here”
“Scratch My Murderous Itch” (Episode 1209)
Sunday, February 5, 9 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Signs of a Psychopath”
“Hell to Look Forward” (Episode 505)
Sunday, February 5, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

“Signs of a Psychopath”
“I Wanted to Hear It” (Episode 506)
Sunday, February 5, 10 p.m., Investigation Discovery

Movies in Theaters or on Home Video

No new true crime movies premiering in theaters or on home video this week.

Radio/Podcasts

No new true crime podcast series premiering this week.

Events

Events listed here are not considered endorsements by this website. All ticket buyers with questions or concerns about the event should contact the event promoter or ticket seller directly.

All start times listed are local time, unless otherwise noted..

No new true crime events this week.

Review: ‘Close’ (2022), starring Eden Dambrine, Gustav De Waele, Émilie Dequenne and Léa Drucker

January 29, 2023

by Carla Hay

Gustav De Waele and Eden Dambrine in “Close” (Photo courtesy of A24) (Photo courtesy of A24)

“Close” (2022)

Directed by Lukas Dhont

Dutch, French and Flemish with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in an unnamed city in Belgium, the dramatic film “Close” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few black people) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: Two 13-year-old boys, who are best friends, become the targets of gossip that the boys are gay, they get bullied for it, and then tragedy strikes. 

Culture Audience: “Close” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching emotionally authentic dramas about how bullying and repressed feelings can affect young people.

Pictured clockwise, from left to right: Eden Dambrine, Gustav De Waele and Émilie Dequenne in “Close” (Photo courtesy of A24)

“Close” is a memorable coming-of-age film that effectively shows the intersections of identity self-esteem, homophobia and mental illness from an adolescent viewpoint. If you’re looking for a Hollywood-made version of these issues, then you won’t find it in “Close.” And that’s not because the movie takes place in Belgium. “Close” has a more thoughtful, realistic and subtle approach that is the opposite of Hollywood-made movies that tend to have obvious messaging in overly contrived melodrama.

Directed by Lukas Dhont (who co-wrote the “Close” screenplay with Angelo Tijssens, “Close” had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where the movie won the Grand Jury Prize. “Close” also received an Academy Award nomination for Best International Feature Film. It’s not a movie about trying to guess if the close friendship between two 13-year-old boys is about homosexuality. Rather, the movie explores themes of coping with grief, staying true to one’s self, and a heart-wrenching reality that love sometimes isn’t enough to prevent a tragedy.

“Close” takes place in an unnamed city in Belgium, where 13-year-old best friends/schoolmates Léo (played by Eden Dambrine) and Rémi (played by Gustav De Waele) are so close, when they have sleepovers, they cuddle next to each other in the same bed. This imagery in the movie is meant to get viewers to question and evaluate what they think is “appropriate” for kids of this age, in terms of masculinity and femininity. When 13-year-old girls act this way, it’s not automatically assumed that they are homosexual. But 13-year-old boys who act this way are usually perceived as being homosexual or being curious about homosexuality, if they express close and affectionate emotional intimacy with each other.

From the start of the movie, Léo shows that he’s the more confident and more extroverted of the two pals. Rémi plays the oboe as a hobby. Léo tells Rémi when they are in Rémi’s bedroom: “I have an idea. I’ll become your manager. And we’ll travel the world, even the moon. And we’ll become filthy rich.”

Léo also offers to upload a video on YouTube of Rémi playing the oboe. “It will get a million views,” Léo says enthusiastically of this proposed video. However, Rémi declines this offer. He wants to play the oboe for the pure enjoyment of it, not to get rich and famous

While they are in bed together, Léo tells Rémi a story in which Rémi must imagine himself as a newborn duckling who is more beautiful than the others. “You encounter a rhyming lizard, and you like it. You both leave and end up jumping on a trampoline. You jump as high as the stars.” And then, Léo blows air from his mouth on Rémi, to simulate the wind outside.

Throughout the movie, scenes with Léo and Rémi leave it open to interpretation if there’s something homoerotic brewing between these two teens, or if they really are just platonic friends. Other students at their school notice the ambiguity. Some of the students assume that Léo and Rémi are “dating” each other. One girl comes right out and asks Léo and Rémi if they are more than friends because she says Léo and Rémi act like they are couple.

Léo responds by saying that he and Rémi are best friends and are like brothers. However, Léo has more delicate-looking physical features, so he gets bullied more often than Rémi does for being “girlish” or “effeminate.” Some of the boys at school call Léo a “girl” and a derogatory term used for gay males that starts with the letter “f.”

If there is something “gay” going on between Léo and Rémi, then Léo is the one who’s more likely to show it physically, through affection or aggression. A scene in the movie shows Léo and Rémi playfully rough housing in bed. At the breakfast table the next morning, Rémi is tearful and says his stomach hurts. What really bothers him—but what he won’t tell his family—is that Léo got a little too rough in their playfighting the night before. As a result, Rémi acts aloof with Léo and seems to want to distance himself from Léo.

And what do the families of Léo and Rémi think of the relationship between these two teens? Léo lives with his mother Nathalie (played by Léa Drucker), his father Yves (played by Marc Weiss) and his older brother Charlie (played by Igor van Dessel), who’s about 16 years old. The parents are cotton farmers who expect Léo and Charlie to help out pick cotton in the field when they can. These family members of Léo are preoccupied with their own lives and don’t seem to have an opinion either way about the close relationship of Léo and Rémi.

Léo spends a lot of time at Rémi’s house and is very fond of Rémi’s mother Sophie (played by Émilie Dequenne), who is mutually admiring of Léo. An early scene in the movie shows Léo, Rémi and Sophie lounging together on some grass outside. Sophie tells Léo in a teasing voice that he’s more devoted to her than to Rémi. As for Rémi’s father Peter (played by Kevin Janssens), he doesn’t disapprove of Léo and Rémi’s relationship, but Peter is more of an observer who doesn’t get as personally involved as Sophie does.

At school, Léo is on the ice hockey team, where he gets increasing hostility from boys who think that Léo is gay. Rémi observes some of this bullying, but he does nothing to stop it. The hockey coach and any of the school’s faculty and staff don’t do anything either about this verbal abuse. Léo is often outnumbered when he’s being bullied, so he doesn’t think there’s much he can do to stand up for himself.

Meanwhile, Léo reacts to Rémi’s aloofness by spending more time with other kids in the school who are very tolerant of who Léo is. One day, Rémi has what can best be described as an emotional meltdown when he sees that Léo left hocky practice early and didn’t wait for Rémi so they could do their usual hangouts after hockey practice. Rémi starts a physical brawl with Léo in the school yard. The fight is so bad that some adults at the school have to intervene and put a stop to it.

It’s easy to see that even though Rémi initially put some distance between himself and Léo, it really bothered Rémi that Léo was going on with his life and spending time with other kids. What could prompt this possessiveness from Rémi? Many people could interpret it as Rémi being secretly in love with Léo and having a hard time coming to terms with it. However, “Close” never shows any explicit homosexuality between Léo and Rémi. Therefore, much of what the movie shows of Léo and Rémi’s relationship is left up to interpretation and speculation.

The relationship between Rémi that Léo is forever changed when an unexpected tragedy happens. It’s enough to say that one of the boys finds out that within this close relationship, he might not have known his best friend as well as he thought he did. How he copes with this harsh reality is one of the main plot developments in the second half of the movie.

In the production notes for “Close,” director/co-writer Dhont says that one of his biggest sources of inspiration for this partially autobiographical movie was Dr. Niobe Way’s 2011 non-fiction book “Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection.” The book expounds on how society’s definitions of masculinity and feminity affect friendships between boys. When boys reach puberty age, they’re expected to show their emotions less, as “proof” that they’re becoming men. That repression of emotions can often extend to friendships between boys too.

After all, when two 13-year-old male best friends say “I love you” to each other, people will often interpret it as “effeminate homosexual,” whereas if two 13-year-old female best friends say “I love you” to each other, they don’t get the same type of judgment. There is underlying homophobia and sexism in these gender expectations. “Close” invites viewers to contemplate and to be mindful of how this bigotry can affect emotionally fragile people.

All of the cast members of “Close” are admirable in their roles, but viewers will remember Dambrine’s performance the most. He makes an impressive feature-film debut as a 13-year-old boy who learns some adult life lessons in ways that his character Léo did not expect. The movie ultimately shows, in heartbreaking ways, the damage that can be done when people can’t or won’t express their true emotions to the people who matter the most to them.

A24 released “Close” in select U.S. cinemas for a one-week limited engagement in select U.S. cinemas on December 2, 2022. The movie was re-released in U.S. cinemas on January 27, 2023. “Close” was released in Belgium on November 9, 2022.

Review: ’80 for Brady,’ starring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Sally Field and Tom Brady

January 28, 2023

by Carla Hay

Rita Moreno, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Sally Field in “80 for Brady” (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

“80 for Brady”

Directed by Kyle Marvin

Culture Representation: Taking place in Boston and in Houston, in 2017 and briefly in 2020, the comedy film “80 for Brady” (inspired by a true story) features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans, Latinos and Asians) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: Four elderly women, who superfans of football star Tom Brady, win a contest to go to Super Bowl LI, and experience various hijinks before and after they lose their Super Bowl tickets. 

Culture Audience: “80 for Brady” will appeal primarily to people who are fans the movie’s stars, American football and movies about senior citizens who have a zest for life.

Lily Tomlin and Tom Brady in “80 for Brady” (Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

As lightweight as a styrofoam football, “80 for Brady” is a transparently old-fashioned comedy about four female fans of Tom Brady who go on a Super Bowl adventure. The cast members’ chemistry is the main reason to watch, because the jokes are hit and miss. This is the type of movie where you know even before it starts how it’s going to end, but it’s still a breezy and inoffensive ride that should bring some mild grins even to the most cynical viewers.

Directed by Kyle Marvin, “80 for Brady” is inspired by a true story and has a trailer where about 80% of the plot is revealed. Even without seeing the trailer or knowing anything about “80 to Brady” before seeing the film, viewers will know about 15 minutes into the movie what to expect. The “80 for Brady” screenplay by Emily Halpern and Sarah Haskins has many hokey sitcom-ish elements that could have been a lot more cringeworthy if not for the immense talents of the four principal actresses at the center of the story. It also helps that all four actresses are entirely believable in their “80 for Brady” roles as longtime best friends.

Lily Tomlin portrays Louella, nicknamed Lou, the group’s most enthusiastic risk-taker. Jane Fonda is Patricia, nicknamed Trish, who is a flirtatious and fun-loving divorcée. Rita Moreno has the role of sassy widow Maura Martinez, whose husband Francisco died the previous year. Sally Field depicts sensible and socially inhibited Elizabeth “Betty” Bachman, a retired Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor of applied mathematics. Betty is the only one in this group of four who is married; she’s been married to her husband Mark (played by Bob Balaban) for 51 years. All four of these female friends are in their 80s, except for Betty, who is 75.

The story of “80 for Brady” begins in Boston in 2017, when these four New England Patriots superfans look forward to watching Super Bowl LI, where the New England Patriots will be playing against the Atlanta Falcons at NRG Stadium in Houston. Fans of American football already know that Super Bowl LI had one of the most shocking victories in Super Bowl in history, so it’s no surprise that it would eventually be recreated in a scripted film. The four Patriot superfans in “80 for Brady” would love to go to the Super Bowl in person, but they can’t afford the trip and the price of the Super Bowl tickets.

As explained early on in the movie, these four best friends are particularly fond of quarterback Tom Brady. They’ve adored him, ever since 2001, his first year with the New England Patriots. However, Trish also has a big crush for Rob Gronkowski, who was the tight end for the New England Patriots at the time.

Trish has such lustful admiration of Gronkowski, she’s turned her steamy fan fiction about him into bestselling romance novels. Trish has the author pseudonym Virginia Le Doux, the name of a poodle that Trish used to own. Her current book is called “Between a Gronk and a Hard Place.” Gronkowski makes a cameo in “80 for Brady,” as already shown in the movie’s trailer. Other former National Football League (NFL) stars who make cameos in “80 for Brady” are Marshawn Lynch, Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman.

Lou, Trish, Maura and Betty are avid viewers of a TV show for New England Patriots fans called “Pats Nation,” hosted by two guys named Nat (played by Alex Moffat) and Pat (played by Rob Corddry), who announce that the show is giving away free tickets to Super Bowl LI. The winner will be whoever “Pats Nation” thinks has the best story for why that person deserves to go to Super Bowl LI. Only one entry per person is allowed. And so begins a not-very-funny stretch of the movie where Lou, Trish, Maura and Betty all come up with different ways to make their statements for the contest.

This part of the movie looks very outdated, because people enter the contest by calling a hotline phone number and saying why they deserve to go to the Super Bowl. Haven’t these people ever heard of online technology? Maura, who lives at a group home called Calm Gardens Retirement Resort, gets some of the residents to help her with this contest by making phone calls on her behalf, by using their own names and promising they will give her the tickets if they win. One of these residents is Mickey (played by Glynn Turman), who is obviously attracted to Maura, but she’s still grieving over her husband and doesn’t seem ready to be in another romantic relationship for now.

Because viewers already know that these four friends are going to the Super Bowl, it’s only a matter of time before it’s revealed that Lou won the contest by making a heartfelt statement about how she, as a recovering cancer patient, and her three best friends became fans of Brady and the New England Patriots. “80 for Brady” has all sorts of contrived slapstick comedy to make this Super Bowl trip wacky and challenging. Accidents, misunderstandings and physical mishaps are all part of the predictable antics.

The hijinks start before they even get on the airport. Maura has taken some sleeping pills and can’t wake up when Lou, Trish and Betty arrive to pick up Maura and go to the airport. Calm Gardens Retirement Resort has a policy not to wake up sleeping residents. A well-meaning employee named Tony (played by Jimmy O. Yang) is determined to enforce this policy and won’t let Lou, Trish and Betty visit Maura.

Trish puts on a flowing blonde wig and a star-spangled, tight outfit, as if she Boston’s version of Dolly Parton. Trish then flirts wth Tony as a distraction, while Lou and Betty sneak into Maura’s room and try to wake up Maura. They eventually “smuggle” a passed-out Maura in a wheelchair, but not before Tony sees them and tries to stop them. Mickey helps by announcing on the P.A. system that “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak is in the building. Several curious residents gather in the hallway and block Tony’s path, so Maura and her pals are able to get away and go to the airport. Yes, it’s that kind of movie.

The “80 for Brady” trailer already shows many of the four pals’ other experiences after they get to Houston. Betty enters a contest called Spicy BBQ Hot Wings Challenge, hosted by Guy Fieri, who portrays himself in the movie. Trish meets a handsome ex-NFL player named Daniel “Dan” Callahan (played by Harry Hamlin), who has two Super Bowl rings from two different teams. You know exactly where the storyline is going to go for Trish and Dan.

At a pre-Super Bowl party, the shenanigans continue. Maura, Betty and Lou are unknowingly given gummy bears laced with an unnamed drug, which results in Maura hallucinating that everyone she sees looks like Guy Fieri. Maura ends up playing poker with some strangers, including comedians Patton Oswalt and Retta, portraying themselves. She becomes fast friends with one of the poker players named Gugu (played by Billy Porter), who happens to be the leader of a group of dancers performing at the Super Bowl.

Betty is considered the most “responsible” on in the group, so she’s put in charge of keeping the Super Bowl tickets safe. As soon as she’s given that responsibility, you just know something is going to happen to the Super Bowl tickets. Ron Funches has a generic supporting role as a stadium security staffer named Chip, who becomes an obstacle for the ladies when they try to go into the stadium without their tickets.

Whenever there’s a comedy about best friends who are senior citizens, there always running gags that essentially seem to be saying, “Look: These old people are a lot stronger, smarter, and livelier than people think. Don’t underestimate them.” When it comes to that formula, “80 for Brady” follows it to the hilt.

Fonda and Tomlin have worked together on the Netflix’s 2015 to 2022 comedy series “Grace and Frankie” (and previously on the Oscar-nominated 1980 comedy film “9 to 5”), so they have an easy camaraderie with each other on screen. Moreno has some of the best comedic scenes in the movie, particularly in the party scene where she’s hallucinating. Field handles her role quite well, considering that Betty goes through the expected transformation from being the “uptight friend” to someone who learns how to loosen up more. The supporting characters in “80 for Brady” aren’t developed enough to really make a big impression, since the cast members in these roles have played versions of these types of characters in other movies.

These types of senior-citizen comedies usually have a cliché about one of the friends having a health/medical condition but hasn’t told the other friends about it. There’s no subtlety about it in “80 for Brady,” which has multiple scenes of Lou’s worried daughter Sara (played by Sara Gilbert) begging Lou to call Lou’s doctor, who reached out to Sara (Lou’s emergency contact) because Lou wasn’t returning the doctor’s messages. Considering that the movie announces early on that Lou is a recovering cancer patient, there really is no mystery about why her doctor might be calling.

Aside from this health issue, “80 for Brady” keeps the tone very jovial, even when the pals get into uncomfortable predicaments. Some of the comedy is downright silly, such as an early scene where Lou imagines that a bobblehead toy of Brady tells her, “Let’s go,” when she says out loud that she’s thinking about entering the contest to win the Super Bowl tickets. The movie has an abundance of people gushing about Brady, as if he’s the greatest American football player who could ever exist.

Why is there all this the over-the-top fan worship of Brady in this movie? Brady is one of the movie’s producers. He also has a small supporting role in “80 for Brady,” although many of his scenes are on the football field. Is this movie a vanity project for Brady? Yes and no. You can’t go 15 minutes without hearing Brady’s name in this movie, but he wisely chose not to appear as a leading star of the film.

Most famous athletes finance movies so that the athletes can launch acting careers too, but they usually end up embarrassing themselves with terrible acting. Brady does a fairly competent job as an actor, but he’s clearly not a natural when it comes to acting skills. He plays a slightly goofier version of himself who doesn’t take his sex symbol status seriously, but the movie definitely takes his celebrity status a little too seriously.

And speaking of not taking anything too seriously, viewers should not take “80 for Brady” that seriously at all. It’s a fantasy version of what a Super Bowl experience would look like if four superfans won Super Bowl tickets and had things go wrong and things go right in some extreme ways. Simply put: “80 for Brady” fulfills its intention to be harmless entertainment that isn’t masterful comedy but can be a satisfactory amusing diversion.

Paramount Pictures will release “80 for Brady” in U.S. cinemas on February 3, 2023.

Review: ‘Infinity Pool’ (2023), starring Alexander Skarsgård, Mia Goth and Cleopatra Coleman

January 27, 2023

by Carla Hay

Alexander Skarsgård and Mia Goth in “Infinity Pool” (Photo courtesy of Neon and Topic Studios)

“Infinity Pool” (2023)

Directed by Brandon Cronenberg

Culture Representation: Taking place in an unnamed European country, the horror film “Infinity Pool” features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few black people) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: While on vacation at a luxury resort, a frustrated author is arrested for being the driver in a hit-and-run accident, and he is offered the high-priced option to avoid execution by having a body double created to be executed instead. 

Culture Audience: “Infinity Pool” will appeal primarily to people who are have a tolerance for watching grotesque body horror and dark observations about abuse of privilege and power in human cruelty.

Mia Goth and Alexander Skarsgård in “Infinity Pool” (Photo courtesy of Neon and Topic Studios)

With disturbing visual images and loathsome characters, “Infinity Pool” will disgust and divide some viewers. This horror movie’s performances deliver the intended discomfort in the often-satirical social commentary about how people can become sadists. It’s a story that is definitely not for sensitive viewers, because “Infinity Pool” gets very bloody, dark, and weird. “Infinity Pool” had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Written and directed by Brandon Cronenberg, “Infinity Pool” begins in what appears to be an idyllic location: a luxury resort in an unnamed European country. (“Infinity Pool” was actually filmed in Šibenik, Croatia, and in Budapest, Hungary.) The resort is near a beach and has all the comforts that people can expect from this elite getaway location. Two of the people on this resort will find their dream vacation turn into a nightmare.

James Foster (played by Alexander Skarsgård) is an American author with writer’s block. He’s on this vacation to get inspiration for his second novel. His first novel, “The Variable Chic,” was published six years ago and was a modest seller. James is starting to feel like he’s a fraud for not being able to start his second book.

James is on this vacation with his cynical and snobby British wife Em Foster (played by Cleopatra Coleman), who seems to be alternately irritated by or bored with James. It’s mentioned later in the movie that James and Em have been together for 10 years. At one point in the movie, Em says that she married James because she has “daddy issues” with her father, who did not approve of this marriage.

Em says she despises her father Alvin, a wealthy book publisher who warned her not to marry a financially poor writer. “So I married the first broke writer who spilled coffee on me,” Em says about James. However, Em now openly resents that James is living off her wealth without making any money of his own. She comments sarcastically, “I’m in danger of becoming a charitable organization at this point.”

Em makes these comments to another vacationing couple that James and Em have met at the same resort. Gabi Bauer (played by Mia Goth) and Alban Bauer (played by Jalil Lespert) are seemingly cheerful spouses who are outgoing and fun-loving. Gabi and Alban both live in Los Angeles. Gabi is an actress who’s originally from London, while Alban is originally from Switzerland, and he previously lived in Paris.

Gabi invites Em and James to have dinner with Gabi and Alban. Em is somewhat wary of Gabi being so enthusiastically quick to befriend them. Gabi is more than friendly to James, because when they’re alone together in a private area on the beach, she sexually pleasures him with her hands, without saying a word.

Soon after the two couples meet each other, they’re going on double dates in the evening—first at a restaurant, and later at a nightclub. One night after partying together at a nightclub, Alban is too drunk to drive the rental car that the four of them took to the nightclub, so James offers to drive instead. Everyone is in good spirits on this drive back to the resort.

But on this deserted road, James accidentally hits a man, who appears suddenly in front of the car. The man is killed instantly. James, who is understandably very distraught, wants to get help and let the authorities know that it was an accident. However, Gabi insists that they leave the body on the road and not tell anyone else. She warns James that he does not want to end up in jail in this country. James reluctantly goes along with the plan.

However, James does get caught. He knows it when police officers show up at the door of his resort suite, and they take James and Em into custody. The spouses are separated at the police station and interrogated in different rooms. The lead investigator Detective Thresh (played by Thomas Kretschmann) tells James that Em confessed everything. And the punishment for this crime is execution.

Detective Thresh also says that the dead man is a local farmer named Myro Myron, who comes from a family with a religion that states his death can be avenged by his eldest son. In other words, the son will be the one who gets to kill James. However, Detective Thresh says there’s one way for James to get out of this execution: For a hefty price (which is never detailed in the movie), the authorities in this country can create a body double of James. This body double will be executed instead, but James is required to watch this execution.

The trailer for “Infinity Pool” already reveals that James takes the option of the body double to be executed. However, this decision takes him down a very twisted path of blood lust and violence that is easy to predict but no less horrifying to watch. Each time a body double is executed, the body double is cremated, and the body double’s original person is given the ashes in an urn.

As already revealed in the trailer, Gabi becomes an instigator and manipulator for much of the chaos that happens to James and Em. Gabi and Alban soon introduce James and Em to some two other couples at the resort who are part of their hedonistic social circle: Charles (played by Jeffrey Rickets) and Jennifer (played by Amanda Brugel) and Dr. Bob Modan (played by John Ralston) and Bex (played by Caroline Boulton), who all blur the lines between pleasure and pain, and they don’t seem to have any boundaries for either.

“Infinity Pool” goes exactly where you think it’s going to go, with psychedelic drug-fueled sex orgies and gruesomely violent scenes. The violence escalates as a way of showing how James’ moral compass is tested and how he is psychologically affected by the increasingly unhinged actions of the group. Where is Em during all of this madness? The movie shows what happens to her, but it might not be what some people might assume in a horror movie.

Does James try to escape? Of course he does. It’s enough to say that Goth (who gave stellar performances in the 2022 horror films “X” and its prequel “Pearl”) steals the show again with another maniacal and murderous character. Gabi isn’t as interesting as Goth’s characters in “X” or “Pearl” (and 2023’s “Maxxxine,” which is a sequel to “X”), but she’s the type of character in a horror movie that viewers know that what she will say or do next is going to make someone else’s life hell.

“Infinity Pool” is a grotesque display of the cruelty that rich people can inflict on others, just because they can afford to do it and can afford to get away with it. The movie has some twists that aren’t too surprising, but they still provide some shock value to viewers who won’t see these twists coming. “Infinity Pool” is a bacchanalia of horror that isn’t subtle in delivering its message about the abuse of power and privilege, but it certainly makes an unforgettable impression for people who can tolerate this type of unnerving movie.

Neon and Topic Studios released “Infinity Pool” in U.S. cinemas on January 27, 2023.

Review: ‘A Thousand and One,’ starring Teyana Taylor, Aaron Kingsley Adetola, Aven Courtney, Josiah Cross and William Catlett

January 27, 2023

by Carla Hay

Teyana Taylor and Aaron Kingsley Adetola in “A Thousand and One” (Photo courtesy of Focus Features)

“A Thousand and One”

Directed by A.V. Rockwell

Culture Representation: Taking place in New York City, from 1993 to 2005, the dramatic film “A Thousand and One” features a predominantly African American cast of characters (with some white people and Latinos) representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: After she is released from prison for theft, a New York City mother illegally avoids child welfare services that want to put her underage son in foster care, so she moves to another part of the city with him and gives him a false identity. 

Culture Audience: “A Thousand and One” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching intense dramas about troubled families that are plagued by poverty and dysfunction.

“A Thousand and One” could be an apt description about all the storylines in movies and TV shows about African American pain and struggles. What makes this dramatic film different from the many that just wallow in negative stereotypes is how authentically the complex humanity is presented in the story. The well-worn subject of an African American family living in urban poverty gets a rarely seen perspective of an undocumented U.S.-born child living in America. The middle of the movie tends to drag, but the last third of the film is emotionally powerful.

Written and directed by A.V. Rockwell, “A Thousand and One” won the grand jury prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where the movie had its world premiere. “A Thousand and One”—which takes place in New York City, from 1993 to 2005—follows the lives of two people who are on the margins of society because one of them is a child with a false identity. “A Thousand and One” shows how this identity deception was made with good intentions to benefit the child in a system that often neflects or abuses children with unstable home lives. “A Thousand and One” shows in unflinching ways whether or not this decision to change the child’s identity was the right decision.

“A Thousand to One” begins by showing the woman who is the catalyst for most of what happens in the story. Inez de la Paz (played by Teyana Taylor) is a prisoner at Rikers Island Correctional Facility in 1993. The opening scene shows Inez appying makeup on the face of a female inmate. The movie then abruptly cuts to 1994, when Inez is 22 years old. Inez, who has a feisty and outspoken personality, is now out of prison and trying to get her life back on track.

Inez returns to her Brooklyn neighborhood and reconnects with a shy and quiet 6-year-old boy named Terry (played by Aaron Kingsley Adetola), who knows Inez as his mother, but he seems emotionally distant and very mistrustful of her. Terry refuses to talk to Inez and can barely look at her. That’s because for however long that Inez was in prison, Terry has been living in foster care, and he feels like Inez abandoned him.

Terry’s father has not be involved in raising Terry, who has no other known relatives. Inez has told people that her ex-boyfriend Lucky (played by William Catlett) is Terry’s father, but Inez says that Lucky and Inez broke up shortly after she gave birth to Terry. For now, Inez plans to raise Terry on her own. But because she currently has no job and no permanent home, it’s very unlikely that Inez will get custody of Terry.

Inez insists on spending time with Terry, whom she usually gets to see when he’s hanging out with his friends on the streets. She promises Terry that she will stay out of trouble and that she won’t ever leave him again. Eventually, Terry starts to warm up to Inez and begins to trust her again.

Meanwhile, Inez wants to work as a hairstylist, but her criminal record and not having a permanent address make it hard for her to get hired at places that do background checks. She also has a reputation in her neighborhood for being a convicted thief. In an effort to find work, she hands out flyers to advertise her services as an independent hair stylist.

A montage early in the movie shows Inez calling people she knows to find a place to stay, and she gets frustrated when people say no, or she can’t reach them on the phone because she gets voice mail or the phone number is no longer in service. Remember, this is in 1994, when most people did not have mobile phones, so Inez has to rely on pay phones to make her calls. Because Inez doesn’t have her own phone, it’s another reason why it’s hard for her to find a job.

Just as Inez thinks she’s making progress with Terry, he ends up in a hospital with a non-critical head injury from a fall out of a window. Although Terry says that he fell on his own, it’s implied that it’s very likely his foster mother abused him, and it resulted in the injury. One of the signs that Terry is being abused in his foster home is that he is afraid to go back and live there. Another sign is that Inez is told that Terry will probably be moved to another foster home after he’s discharged from the hospital.

Inez is so upset by the thought of Terry going back to a foster home, she asks Terry if he wants to stay with her for a couple of days. He says yes. That’s all Inez needs to hear to decide to take Terry with her without telling the proper authorities. Inez and Terry go to Harlem, where Inez grew up. They temporarily hide out with Inez’s close friend Kim Jones (played by Terri Abney), who has known Inez since childhood. Kim lives with her mother Mrs. Jones (played by Delissa Reynolds), who openly disapproves of Inez, because she thinks Inez is a bad influence on Kim.

Inez confides to Kim that Inez has illegally taken Terry and has no intention of returning him to the child welfare system. Inez makes Kim promise to keep it a secret. However, the local news is reporting that Inez has kidnapped Terry. Photos of Inez and Terry are on local TV stations and in other visual media’s news reports about this kidnapping. Even though the Internet was in its infancy in 1994, a kidnapping reported on the TV news would be a big deal in 1994, as it would be today. “A Thousand and One” doesn’t handle the effects of this mass-media coverage very realistically.

That’s why viewers need a huge suspension of disbelief for the rest of “A Thousand to One,” which shows that Terry and Inez stayed in Harlem through 2005, the year that the movie ends. This isn’t spoiler information, because the movie is being marketed as a story about a woman who kidnapped her son and was able to raise him through his teenage years by giving him a false identity. The movie’s remaining chapters take place in 2001, when Terry (played by Aven Courtney) is 13 years old, and in 2005, when Terry (played by Josiah Cross) is 17 years old.

It’s very hard to believe that people who know Inez (who makes no attempt to disguise herself) wouldn’t find out that she was in the news for kidnapping. It would be easier to believe that Inez got away with it for several years if Inez and Terry had moved to another part of the United States, or even out of the New York City metropolitan area. In real life, too many social workers and law enforcement officials (including parole officers) would be able to easily track down Inez and Terry because she went back to her childhood neighborhood.

And making things even more implausible, Inez and Terry stay in the same Harlem apartment for several years, which would make them even easier to find. (Most fugitives don’t live in one place for too long.) Inez and Terry live an apartment that has the number 10-01 on the door. This apartment number is the inspiration for the movie’s title, because without the hyphen, the number would be 1,001.

Terry is homeschooled for some of his early childhood when Inez goes into “hiding” with him, but Terry eventually goes to public schools, where Inez occasionally interacts with some of the schools’ faculty and staff. It’s another plot hole in the movie, because some of these school employees would realistically be aware of local child kidnappings that were in the news and would recognize Inez. It’s important to mention that Inez’s physical appearance barely ages in the movie. Through the years, her very distinctive face looks exactly the same in the photos of Inez that are shown in the news about the kidnapping case. Law enforcement wouldn’t have do any “aging updates” to her photos.

Inez and Terry being able to “hide in plain sight” and go undetected for years is this movie’s way of saying that children like Terry often “fall through the cracks” of the child welfare system, because no one is really looking that hard for them. A better and more realistic narrative to the story would have been that Terry’s disappearance would not have made the news at all. But because “A Thousand and One” repeatedly shows Inez’s and Terry’s photos on TV as a kidnapping case, this TV news coverage seems very contrived for the movie’s dramatic purposes, in order to make the character of Inez more paranoid about getting caught.

Despite the credibility flaws in this part of the kidnapping investigation narrative, “A Thousand and One” is more authentic in showing the turmoil and dysfunction that result from being an outlaw and having poverty problems. Yes, there are many cringeworthy scenes of Inez being the “angry black woman” stereotype, but Taylor delivers a good-enough performance that it doesn’t devolve into being a pathetic parody. Viewers will see more than enough of Inez’s “I’m angry because I’ve had a hard life” attitude.

However, “A Thousand and One” saves itself from being racially offensive with these negative stereotypes for Inez because the movie shows her vulnerable side, especially during Terry’s early teenage years when she starts to mellow out a little bit when the life that she makes for herself and Lucky becomes more stable. The movie also presents a variety of other African American people who are also living in poverty but who aren’t the clichés of being bitter and “ready to pick a fight” that Inez can often be. Inez’s friend Kim is street-smart too, but Kim is more compassionate and more patient than Inez.

Lucky comes back into Inez’s life, and he’s not quite the deadbeat dad that he could easily be if the movie followed the usual race-demeaning formulas that other movies and TV shows have about low-income African American fathers. Lucky is flawed but he does try to redeem himself as a parent. The scenes with Lucky and Terry are among the most authentic because they show that it takes time for Lucky to build trust as a father who was absent for Terry’s formative childhood years.

What will probably impress people the most about “A Thousand and One” is how superbly the movie shows Terry growing up into the bright and sensitive person that he is, with a lot of potential to succeed, despite Terry coming from dire circumstances and a volatile family background. Terry has a knack for science and technology. But what he really wants to do with his life is to be a music composer like his idol, Quincy Jones. Adetola, Courtney and Cross are all terrific in their roles as Terry in the three life stages that are depicted in “A Thousand and One.”

“A Thousand and One” has plenty of hard edges to its storytelling, but there are some sweet-natured scenes of teenage Terry awkwardly trying to impress his longtime crush Simone (played at age 14 by Azza El, and at age 17 by Alicia Pilgrim), who is dismissive and rude to Terry. As 17-year-old Terry, Cross is particularly skillful at showing introverted Terry’s frustration of wanting to be more confident, but his shyness and insecurity often get in the way. Terry has a slight stutter that is realistically depicted. There are also some tender mother/child moments between Inez and Terry.

“A Thousand and One” transitions between each of the three chapters of Terry’s life, by showing aerial views of New York City with audio clips of news reports about New York City’s mayor at the time. These transitions are an effective way to not only give a quick history lesson of New York City during these years but also put into context the types of mayoral policies that were put in place during these time periods. The news clips highlighted in the movie reflect the type of news that African Americans likely would be paying attention to the most because it’s news that would have an impact on African American communities.

For 1994 and 2001, these clips briefly encapsulate the reign of Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani, who is credited with “cleaning up” New York City and reducing the city’s crime rate, but who also instilled a damaging and racist “stop and frisk” police policy that disproportionately targeted African Americans and Latinos of the male gender. These clips have mentions of the police brutality cases that violated young, unarmed African American men Abner Louima (a victim of police sodomy in 1997) and Amadou Diallo (killed by 41 rounds of police gunfire in 1999), to serve as reminders of the racial dangers in New York City for young African American men like Terry. The 2005 audio excerpt of the reign of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg foreshadows how certain people will be affected by Bloomberg’s legacy of bringing more big business and more gentrification to New York City.

Viewers of “A Thousand and One” will get the sense that all the problems experienced by Inez and Terry are not meant to invoke condescension or pity, as some of the move’s more privileged characters react when they’re with Inez and/or Terry. Instead, the movie shows in frank and empathetic ways how quickly people’s lives can spiral in these circumstances. It would be very easy to judge people in these circumstances as self-destructive or lazy. But the ending of “A Thousand and One” makes it very clear that it’s a mistake to harshly judge someone without knowing that person’s whole life story, because some of life’s bad decisions start off as good intentions.

Focus Features will release “A Thousand and One” in select U.S. cinemas on March 31, 2023.

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